Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category


Good Night,

Sleep tight,

don’t let the bed bugs bite.

-Ancient bedtime incantation against the blood sucking buggars

Image result for bed bugsBED BUGS! Feel it. That uncontrollable desire to itch or scratch? Don’t hide it. I know you did. I spent years being the go to in infestation control for multiple buildings. It is a creepy feeling. I have seen infestations so bad that there was a symbiosis created by tenant and insect, to the newest ones that are picked up in life transit.  We have all heard the news reports of the explosions of bed bugs on airplanes, in churches, movie theatres, low rent motels, high rent hotels, and schools. These are travelers, see bed bugs are searching for hosts. They love our carbon dioxide. The ones in public spaces are seeking a person to take them home. There is so many because 1000’s can literally be born in days. The female bed bug is impregnated by thousands of mates all at once, and births the babies in a cycle.

They are translucent until they feed. There source of food? Us. If there is a huge infestation, and they cannot sufficiently feed I have seen situations where they will feed on a pet, but usually a pet in used as a public transit mechanism for them to go to other places and spread their colonies. By what are they making a comeback so strongly in Canada? Well, we had them obliterated, unfortunately the chemicals used to wipe them out were also wiping us out via carcinogens. Dang it.

Image result for bed bugsBy mechanical function how early an infestation is detected states how many sprays are needed (minimum usually two). If you rent, the landlord in Alberta is responsible for footing the bill for the spray (sorry homeowners, its on us for our own). The responsibility of the tenant (and the infested if you own) is to promptly follow through on all instructions laid out by the pest control company to ensure the efficacy of the sprays.

Appears very simple. One notes like the picture above or less and calls in; or has noted 3 clustered bites (breakfast-lunch-dinner)together resembling small or large mosquito bites and calls for pest control (keep in mind not everyone shows bites, for the bite showing is an allergic reaction so you can be being feasted on and never even know it, it is why in communal living like hotels, condos, and apartment blocks random inspections help by trained pest control).

Yet this is not a simple carpet beetle infestation where carpet replacement or vacuuming will cure, or flour beetles that require cleaning and food disposal. This is a very intimate type of infestation and that can be missed is that part of the process is mental health supports. Sadly in 2013 in Montreal, a gent with pre-existing mental health conditions completed a suicide due to recurrent Bed Bug infestations. Though I can attest one does not need pre-existing mental health or health conditions to provide an unkind end.

Image result for bed bugsBed bugs get in your most intimate spots–truly. They disrupt sleep. They interrupt sexual relations. If you talk to others about it, they recoil and stigmatize you. See we assume bed bugs equate to dirty lifestyle or living. That is a fallacy. Bed Bugs are seeking food (us), they do not care if you are a hoarder or a minimalist, hospital clean or junkyard mucky, young, old, senior, Millennial, wealthy or poor. They just want your blood.

One would then think, well treatment happens it ends right. No, it does not, one is encouraged not to abandon their resident during treatment cycles as you are literally the bait to contain the infestation. Best case scenario, after two weeks it is free and clear with maybe a lingering of psychosomatic itchiness. Worst case scenario, multiple sprays and many if not all belongings disposed of to ensure reoccurence stops. Literally losing one’s life (material, or completed suicide).

What can this do? Lack of sleep is never a good thing for the human body. Isolation due to stigmatization is never a good thing. Fear of an area of the house (usually happens with where you sleep), but can happen with the whole residence. During treatment cycles, prep, stress, already existing mental health concerns can be exacerbated or new ones can be created: panic attacks to psychotic breaks are not out of the realm of possibility for a rather mentally healthy individual (recurrence after treatment has also been termed Post Traumatic Bed Bug Stress Disorder). For addictions, they can get worse and reach crisis levels, most prevalent being gambling, alcoholism, and drug use. One can also become more open to addiction symptoms to deal with the stress and trauma of the infestation. Sadly as well, pre-existing domestic violence can increase rapidly around this as the infestation can become the focal point of rage and blame.

Knowing that inspection brings people into one’s sanctuary (home); treatment brings others into the sanctuary and tears it apart; living with the buggars has its own terrors. Is it any wonder that mental health is something that needs to be navigated, acknowledged, and treated during and after this time? If we ignore it, we are simply ignoring what is right for our neighbour and ourselves.

Best pest control company I have worked with in Calgary is Martin’s Pest Control.

Image result for bed bugs

 

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A host of randomness, because, well its my site and my mind lol.

NDP MLA Stephanie McLean resigns her seat, though she has been MIA by the sounds of it since the spring session. The Speaker stipulates not going forward on releasing the names of the 2 NDP MLA’s who were investigated for misconduct, a weird start to an election year for the governing party.

Kenneygate continues on Twitter with more coming out about non-disclosed/reported donations and donations in kind.

Looking at the governing party, and the supposed government in waiting, is it no wonder I am leaning towards Alberta Liberal or Alberta Party for my vote.

Two endorsements, sadly for ridings I do not live in, but if you do:

Calgary-East vote Gar Gar (Alberta Party) a tireless community builder, and investor in the next generation.

Edmonton West Henday Vote Leah McRorie (Alberta Liberal) a tireless advocate of humanity, inclusion and disability rights. She is a voice our legislature needs to ensure all Albertans are heard from.

Now a shift to pop culture. I must be one of the few Trekkies left on the planet not to see Star Trek Discovery Season 1 (it is on order from my wonderful Public Library). What i have is read the first Discover novel by David Mack, and this past Christmas Season, the two comic collections (some would say graphic novels, but for an oldster like me those were special one of stories while collections were numbered issues brought together as a trade paperback).

The first one I read was Succession. What drew me to it was my love of the Mirror Universe. For the uninitiated (or new reader to the site) the Mirror Universe is exactly what is sounds, the shadow reflection of the main Trek-verse. Instead of a Federation, it is a Terran Empire. Succession brings forth the best of the Mirror Universe in all its genocidal glory, originally was a 4 issue mini-series. The collection also had a bonus annual, that was a love story of what brought a scientist (Lt. Statmets) into Starfleet. Not wanting to give any spoilers, but it is Trek at its best.

The next was a solely Klingon adventure- the Light of Kahless. A religious-philosophical exploration of the Klingon Empire that has fallen into corruption, and what a dishonoured-minor house can do to redeem the Empire. Exploring the Klingon Monastery on Boreth, and what exaclty the reincarnation of Kahless and his light is for the Empire through main character T’Kuvma. The journey feels like a spiritual-political fable, at times reminiscent of the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter, Redemption; and at other times of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes focused on the clone of Kahless.

Solo a Star Wars Story was fun. I know many did not like it, but it was a fun adventure-treasure hunt. What else would one expect from the younger days of Han Solo? Donald Glover as Lando is priceless. Go in looking for a fun movie and that is what you will get. Go in as an over-serious fan-boy, and yeah be bitter. I prefer to love fun.

Four episodes into the twisty-turny Netflix series, YOU. Yes, I will be nice and give the trigger warning for those who have ever been stalked this may not be for you. Why? It is the story of two stalkers, both trying to bring out who they believe the main character Beck to be. Don’t want to give any spoilers, but it is done in such a way as good writing is that you feel for the main character, being Joe (think of how Harris humanized Hannibal Lecter).

Just some meandering thoughts as we enter 2019…as for Oprah’s Greenleaf in season three, one episode in and I do hope it picks up as it has lost the pinache that made a good show.

-30- for now.


Some say that you can re-wire your brain by taking time each day to reflect on the 3 things you are grateful for. I would start team meetings with this, as it shifted the energy in the room. It shifts you from a mindset of stress, defeatism and negativity into a place of…oh yeah. There was also 2 other questions that I would pose, so here is your New Year’s Eve Soul Work:

  1. What are 3 things you are grateful for in 2018?
  2. What is something you learned in 2018?
  3. What is a new (or renewed) piece of self (soul) care you will take with you into 2019?

And yes, for regular readers, this can be part of a daily examin  exercise so the day reflected on just doesn’t become a “how did I screw up today list”…which is not the purpose.

Tonight at Midnight…welcome to 365 new opportunities to create the new chapters in your new book of life…


A random collection of thoughts that don’t really fit anywhere else. What one would term a true free fall if you will. Letting the thoughts tumble out of your head.

The joy of Boxing Week movie bins brings you John Wick 2. A sequel due to well John Wick doing so well. It is much of the same on this assassin’s journey to escape his past life that just won’t let go. Where Wick 1 would be a 4/5; I’d say 2 is about 3.5/5. Fun, but the originality has worn off. The ending is pure production company where it could end there, or leave the door slightly ajar for a 3 depending on box office.

From Star Trek: The Next Generation season 3 gem’s (thanks Netflix). “Deja Q” that brings up the ultimate philosophical question what makes one human? This is not done through the usual foil of Data, but rather the Q-tinum has grown tired of Q’s chaos across the universe and punted him, his last thought was to be human. He is now on the Enterprise, and trying to discover among many things the joy of 10 chocolate sundaes, what it means to be human? (oh and feeling pain, and fear of death).

“Yesterday’s Enterprise” is a time travel episode, where a past Enterprise-C is thrown forward, and due to not completing its rescue mission the new reality is a timeline at war with the Romulans. It is the episode that brings Tasha Yar back to life, and the deeper question about life…what happens if a death doesn’t mean anything? How does one ensure their entire life from cradle to grave has meaning?

I do know it was an empty death, a death without purpose.

-Guinan, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”

The newest Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich finally made the pick up shelf at my library. I discovered Evanovich during my time working at Smithbooks, and then Coles, at Sunridge Mall way back when. She has a quirky-dry sense of humour for her Trenton, NJ lingerie salesgirl turned bounty hunter with the former working girl sidekick Lula. Look Alive Twenty-Five brings the between the numbers mystery magicus, Wulf, to the numbered books as he involves himself in a weird mystery. Plum & Lula are now managing a deli, where managers have a tendency to vanish by the dumpster leaving behind only 1 shoe? And what does a grunge-rock band, a pickled senior wanting her cat back, and a chicken breeder that runs a breakfast burrito truck have to do with the mystery? Oh and as always there is Ranger and Morelli, attempting to keep Plum safe from Plum luck.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Paramount’s Star Trek movies reboot. To hear though that the fourth may be scuttled because of Pine and Hemsworth not signing on, I think is a loss on what could be a new direction. Off-camera promote Kirk off the Enterprise. Make Sulu the captain, you can do either a Harry Mudd as antagonist movie, or a Guardian on Edge of Forever movie. I did not find Pine embodied Kirk, as well as the other cast had taken to their roles, and seeing Sulu as captain would allow for new helms and navigator, with where CGI is at would be great to see Arex come to life on the big screen.

Ontario Federal riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes by-election was no surprise with the Conservatives holding this extremely safe party turf. What was a shock was the 24 votes seperating the deadlock for 3rd place of the NDP and Green Party. It could be a sign that the supporters of the Greens (really a Red Tory-Blue Grit party to use old vernacular) may not abandon their party at the polls. The Greens have always polled decently between votes, but on vote day have a knack to collapse. Here’s hoping 2019’s federal election can see them scoop votes from both the old 2 mainliners and present well, the diverse voice is needed in the House of Commons.

Finally, it was worth the wait. The Equalizer 2, Robert John McCall is back after Denzel Washington’s first tour in the film reboot of the old television series. This time the fun has a bit of international flare for the man who sends the most convoluted mixed messages when attempting to help. It was worth the wait, and is definitely a good movie that holds ones attention. From the subplots of the help he spreads throughout the main plot of the movie as someone strikes close to home for him. A bit more of his mysterious past is revealed (and yes I am trying not to give away spoilers). Though flour ignites beautifully.

May your 2019 be better than your 2018.


Change management, much like efficiency has become buzzwords around multiple industries from human services to political organizations to spiritual gatherings to corporate board rooms.

But what is change? And why do we only manage it?

Alberta currently can be a case study in drastic change. Change creates friction. Leads to identity politics in some instances where groups entrench to be on the preserve or change sides. Perhaps there is a frozen entrenchment were yelling just happens (hello NDP-UCP Governance)… but the root is missed completely.

See change happens. It is part of human society, and human life. It can be expected (such as boom and bust economic cycles, and the need to diversify). It can be that even though the wealthiest may not be doing as well, the economic shift is changing things. Those are some examples. Others are when belief systems shift, say in a church denomination one is apart of. It can be seemingly as insignificant as a focus on youth or children, as innocuous as leadership-governance structural changes or simply a new cleric. Yet ripples are sent, some stay, some go. Emotional weight hits many, and we yearn for a black and white existence.

Unfortunately the world has never been black and white. It exists in worlds of gray mostly due to the pesky of factors- humanity. As I wrote in the past about ISO systems and such under efficiency, it was the strategic process of an organization mapping out what they did, and what role did what in the process so that anyone could walk in and take the thick binder off the shelf and know what to do.

The mechanics of the work. The how, not the why.

That is the cusp of change management. Reactions to change need to be processed, not managed. You can manage chaos as a manager or director. This can mean continuing to push forward, pull along those who are willing or need survival income, but many will fall off and be lost in the wilderness to different levels of harm. Either financial, emotional, physical or spiritual. In the end though you can claim being proficient in change management as you had mapped out a process, a manual anyone can now pull off the shelf to show the system and that it is implemented. Yet in the push-pull to accomplish, what was missed is the values-morals-ethics that brought one to your organization.

It is not so much about managing change, as processing grief. We are at a time in human history where we know much about grief and trauma. Great knowledge, yet without application there is no wisdom. We seek those who can manage, not those that can lead. Mostly due to the fact that true leadership in the icky field of values, in grief work is not something that comes with fancy title but is the one that others seek out to understand and process with.

It is in the journey of processing. The ritual of acknowledging what has been lost. Celebrating what remains, that one can become open to the new being birthed within their community, organization or institution. The same journey of healing one goes through with a death in their life, or an enforced change of life circumstance due to health. It is a journey. It happens with every life change, we go through a grief cycle it can be brief or long dependent on what is changing, the social and professional supports we have access to, and if the new reality fits within our existing values, or are those values being challenged for growth or change or holding firm to the values and making a different change in life.

When it comes to change it is a harder conversation, and requires and understanding of those who are in the journey. It is not about managing change for the outcome wanted at a strategic level.

It is processing grief for the new direction to be birthed organically.

But it is messy, and requires seeing all pieces of the organization as people, not cogs. Are we willing?

 

Saturday Morning Retro

Posted: November 18, 2018 by Ty in Musings
Tags: , , ,

It’s funny that this comes into one’s mind. Thoughts around cartoons. Yes, I still love them and enjoy them with my kids. There are those that are easy to enjoy- anything Disney, Disney-Pixar, Dreamworks (Shrek or Kung Fu Panda anyone?) and of course the grand Loony Tunes or other Hanna Barbera fun. As well as a nod to the greats of my Image result for hanna barbera characterschildhood, He-Man, She-ra, Thundercats, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gi Joe, etc. (with those fun PSA’s at the end to really hit home the message of the story). Or the real oldie but goodies like Zorro, Lone Ranger, Spider-Man and Star Trek.

There are some new ones you can easily say sarcastically “are of Satan” that being Peppa Pig, Max & Ruby or Caillou.  Then there are new ones that have ruined a franchise of my youth years worse than the New 52 reboot of the title (Teen Titans Go anyone???).

But then there is that which you want to hate. In the era of cable television not existing and streaming services. Where your children are enamoured, and have streamed over and over again.

When the title song plays and you cringe a little.

Image result for power rangers super megaforceYet a little you are drawn in. For new animation that sometimes lacks, it does produce a storyline with some character, and a moral/message. So yes, I have wanted to avoid and hate or at the very least not acknowledge it exists…but over the last few years it has become part of my daughter (and my son’s) life.

What is it?

For those who may not know its main characters are Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack and Spike. The basis is about kindness, compassion and friendship…sadly, it is My Little Pony.

But with some of the shows that just seem to have no random point, the fact my kids Image result for my little pony rainbow powergravitate towards MLP and Power Rangers (which teaches about team work, and helping others) there are worse things they could be streaming on binge.

(P.S. especially with the new Pony season eight on Netflix that very apptly deals with the concept of the harm/evil of Nationalism and White Supremacy through the concept of who can and cannot attend a school).


It may be a bit ranty. But as a geek I believe I have a right to be ranty. What the heck folks is up with the vulgar/bullying of “Fandom”? I know fan is short for fanatics (hence the growth of hooliganism in soccer). But geeks we were the place of hanging out and fun discussions? The mainlining of our world has created the hate line of social media.

Y’know what I like? Not worrying if the story is “canon” or how it fits with the last story arc or into the bigger universe. I enjoy good stories of the characters I love, stand alone or intertwined. I am sure if anyone who has followed my pulp writings for the past 32 years could see huge gaping holes in continuity a whole caravan could go through never mind a sub-atomic Ant-Man.

Why am I ranty? Because I love being in the room when my kids are reading a fav book or comic or watching a movie. I love watching them engage with it, whether it is their first or thousandth time. They will let us know if it is a sad part, a happy part, if the villain is being a jerk like villains should be, the jokes (they laugh out loud) and they cheer the heroes on… oh and guess what? Yes they know when watching Star Trek Scotty will figure it out, but my son still cheers the “miracle worker”. My daughter still cheers for the Quidditch matches in Harry Potter. They know who their favourite Doctor is, but still cheer on, or weep the stories/transitions.

Oh, and yes they love action and adventure, super hero movies. My son laughs out loud if Ant-man can escape Thomas the Tank; my daughter loves the “we have a Hulk” line. They laugh loudly re-watching cartoon movies (which even if I didn’t have kids I probably would still own)…and my son declares clearly even with his spastic speech in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 “Peter’s daddy’s a dick.” Yes son, yes he is.

Oh, and they still gasp in Empire Strikes back when Vader stretches out his hand to Luke and rasps “Luke I am your father.” and Cheer when the Millenium Falcon flies away or the Death Star explodes.  Get a bit weepy over Rory and Amy’s love with Doctor Fezzie’s seasons of Doctor Who (as my kids affectionately call Matt Smith’s Doctor). My son chuckles when Sisko punches Q; and cheers loudly when Rom (who he says is like him, also he claims Groot) finally gets to play Baseball.

The list can go on and on in everything they are in to. How they share their passions and joys with friends and family. How they always wonder, what if this happened with this character.

Y’know, when being a fan of pop culture was fun. Not being a regressive knuckle dragger. My hope is like with their Daddy, the wonder will always stay, and what happens is when a new story is told with their favourite characters they can see the joy in it, or that it was simply a miss and move on to the next (thank you Justice League for bringing back a true Superman– Daddy’s happy dance-).

As you enter the story, yes there is great commentary to be discussed in everything around social justice (as with any good writing), but also take time to simply be immersed in the story and enjoy the ride. You can have something function on two levels, and you don’t have to be a tool towards the creative forces if you disagree with the vision.

Watch or read it with a child’s wonder.

To paraphrase Yoda, “Be one with the story.”

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda