Tardiness Is Stealing My Time

Ticket

Appointment: A fixed mutual agreement for a meeting set for a specific time or place.

The definition above, from http://www.dictionary.com, sums up nicely the concept of an appointment. If only the medical profession could get a grip on this. Yesterday I dropped by a local medical imaging place to see about making an appointment for my mother. At 89 and with mobility issues just showing up and taking her chances on getting in quickly is not an option. I could have phoned, but as I was passing right by I thought I’d throw a little human touch into my quest.

The idea behind making an appointment is to eradicate the need to wait. Make a reservation at a popular restaurant and you stroll right past the line. 

Upon entering the place I immediately noticed two things. The first was a large waiting room full of people hacking, wheezing, and sneezing all over each other (if they were not sick when they went for their x-ray, they sure as hell will be when they leave). The second thing that caught my eye was one of those ticket dispensers like they have in pastry shops and delicatessens.  I applied some simple logic and concluded that those folks waiting were there without an appointment, and had taken a ticket and awaited their number.

As I looked at the dispenser I saw three different kinds of tickets: 1) for those with an appointment, 2) for those without an appointment, and, 3) for those wanting to make an appointment. This had me more than just a bit confused. If you have an appointment, why would you need a ticket? The idea behind making an appointment is to eradicate the need to wait. Make a reservation at a popular restaurant and you stroll right past the line. Make an appointment for an x-ray and you still have to wait. something is wrong with this system.

While making an effort to avoid waiting, option three would have you wait twice; once to make the appointment and again when you arrive for the appointment.

But it gets even more idiotic The third option is to take a ticket so you can wait until called, then make an appointment, then when you arrive for the arranged appointment you will sit and wait again as per option one. While making an effort to avoid waiting, option three would have you wait twice; once to make the appointment and again when you arrive for the appointment.

If nothing else I am a punctual person, never tardy. When I make an appointment or reservation I am always early out of respect for the other party. Why does the medical profession seem to think appointments only work one-way? When I agree to an appointment and I have to wait, I always feel my time is being stolen.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

Originally published September 3, 2013

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apologies of some Canadians!

Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society

It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault.  As a Canadian I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

… because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved; you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathise with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Good Friday: Lord Of The Dance

The Lord of the Dance

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped they stripped they hung me high
And they left me there on a cross to die!

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone
But I am the Dance and I still go on!

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the Life that’ll never, never die!
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in Me –
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(…lead you all in the Dance, said He!)

Sydney Carter

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

#TBT Canada Needs to Adjust Groundhog Day Parameters

Wiarton Willie Statue

Wiarton Willie Statue

Early reports indicate that Punxsutawney Phil, having seen his shadow and darted back inside his hole, is predicting a long winter. Meanwhile in Canada all eyes are on Wiarton Willie to see what he thinks of the chances of an early spring. The rule of hog – dare I say the ground rule – is that a shadow-frightened rodent means six more weeks of winter.

But on those occasions when (Willie) scarpers back under the covers with the remote and a few books, let’s be true to our climate and say ten more weeks of winter are in store.

All this is cute and no doubt makes somebody a few bucks on T-shirt sales. But we Canadians have to adjust the parameters just a wee bit. If Phil sees his shadow, as he did today, that means six more weeks of winter. That’s mid-March! With the exception of those living west of the Rockies, any Canadian worth his or her road salt would love to have spring arrive in March, in reality, not just on the calendar.

I suggest the following change: If Wiarton Willie doesn’t see his shadow and opts to come out of his hole and lead us to believe we’ll have an early spring that’s fine and dandy. But on those occasions when he scarpers back under the covers with the remote and a few books, let’s be true to our climate and say ten more weeks of winter are in store.

When it comes to meteorological conditions,  what works in Pennsylvania doesn’t work in Wiarton, Ontario!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

#TBT Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

“Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”

It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault.  As a Canadian I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe  we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved, you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathize with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apology of some Canadians!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

An Irish Blessing for St. Patrick’s Day

image

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

March Still a Lion in Montreal

Let’s hope this is Old Man Winter’s last kick at the can!

Snow_1Snow_2Snow_3Snow_4

 

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Disappearing Bees Explained

BumblebeeIn honor of World Honey Bee Day, I am re-posting this from last year.

I am learning so many things from the bug world this spring. First there was the eye-opener that earthworms live by a system of rules and regulations, with lawyer worms to keep them on the straight and narrow. Then I was approached by Harold the Emerald Ash Borer to ghost write his reply to all the negative press he and his fellow borers have been getting lately. Now it’s bees.

The other day there was a thump on my window. As I live on the third floor this was somewhat unnerving. I approached the window and looking out could see nothing that would account for the noise. Then I looked straight down at the window ledge and saw a bumblebee the size of a Fiat on the sill. Rotund, he was on his back with legs and wings flailing in an attempt to right himself. “A little help please” I heard through the window. Being a bit of a coward I was in no rush to open my window to the possibility of a visit from a stinging entity, even one who was asking for my help. “I assure you I come in peace” he said. How could I not act? I opened the window, and using a pencil got my visitor to his feet.

… the idea to go into hiding and thereby upset the entire ecosystem in an attempt to keep bees from being used as fodder in the search for explosives, was suggested by the Drones. Worker bees and union lads to the nth degree …

“Many thanks” he said. “Yours are some of the cleanest windows I’ve ever encountered”

“Thanks, and you’re welcome” I replied. I asked him what brought him to my window. It appears word has gotten around the neighbourhood that I am “bug friendly”.

“Allow me to explain sir. My name is Basil, and I am a Bumblebee. I have been selected by my hive members, based primarily but not solely on my ability to speak English, to get our message out to the world. Being a reader of your blog and therefore aware of your recent encounters with my fellow bugs, I thought you could be of assistance.”

I told Basil I was flattered that he read my blog, but didn’t know how I could be of help. However I was willing to listen to his problem. I invited him to come in on one condition; he had to sheath his stinger. This he understood completely and showed me that he had already encased his weapon in a lovely leather holster. So in came Basil. He complimented me on the decor and said I should feel free to drop by his hive some day.

I was pleased to be able to provide him with the saucer of water and sugar he requested in lieu of coffee. With no threat of being stung, I was able to get a good look at his yellow and black furry torso and was taken aback by what I think was styling mousse.

I asked what it was specifically that brought him to me and, in between sips of sweetened water, he told me that the recent news stories about the mysterious disappearance of vast numbers of bees were incorrect. He explained that the bees were not missing, nor had they been exterminated, they were in fact hiding.

“Hiding” I exclaimed. “Where?”

At this Basil merely rolled his eyes and said “if I told you that, it wouldn’t be a very good hiding place, would it chief?”

Everyday we bees leave the hive in search of pollen. Once located we return and proceed to inform our hive colleagues just where the cache is to be found. We do this by way of a complicated dance. Scientists have studied this dance and been amazed by it for generations. On the other hand, dogs fetch sticks
He continued to explain how bees have always been proud of the role they play in the whole ecosystem, but that the latest job suggested for them was a but over the top. It seems someone has come up with the bright idea to use bees as a means of finding explosives. Sniffer bees would be trained to seek out bombs, and mines.

He elaborated: the idea to go into hiding and thereby upset the entire ecosystem in an attempt to keep bees from being used as fodder in the search for explosives, was suggested by the Drones. Worker bees and union lads to the nth degree, they felt this was necessary. And you thought the AFL-CIO was powerful!

“But,'” I protested “you can’t do that”.

Hey, we’re not supposed to be able to fly either, but we do!

It was when I mentioned that sniffer dogs have long been used for this that I understood I had offended Basil and I got what can only be described as a lecture from my little guest. “Everyday we bees leave the hive in search of pollen. Once located we return and proceed to inform our hive colleagues just where the cache is to be found. We do this by way of a complicated dance. Scientists have studied this dance and been amazed by it for generations. On the other hand, dogs fetch sticks.”

Feeling a little put out by Basil’s harsh tone I said I couldn’t imagine him doing much dancing, complicated or otherwise, given his girth. Again he shook his head in disbelief and told me those dances were soon to be a thing of the past. With smartphones equipped with GPS, when bees come upon a stash of pollen they now send a text back to the hive thereby informing the drones where to go.

To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement. No wonder bees were becoming rare, they had no intention of being used to find explosives. These are not dumb beasts and Basil wanted me to get that message out.

With smartphones equipped with GPS, when bees come upon a stash of pollen they now send a text back to the hive thereby informing the drones where to go.

He finished his water and wiped his mouth with a small handkerchief before starting to buzz. Oh no, here it comes, he’s going to turn on me, I thought. They always say you can’t really trust wild animals; no more civilized gentleman bee, he’s going native on me. How long until he unsheathed that stinger and was having at me? As the buzzing increased I could see Basil trembling; I thought he was going to take flight but instead he pulled out the smallest iPhone I’ve ever seen and said “I always forget when I put it on vibrate. I’m thinking of switching to Samsung. What do you think?”

With that Basil made his way out if my window and off to his hive. But before taking off from my sill, he said there was no need for me to send him a draft of our conversation before I posted it; that he trusted me to get it right. Not coincidentally I fear, he said this as he was removing the holster from his stinger with a funny glint in his little eyes that I still am not sure indicated appreciation or threat!  Yet the next day when I looked I noticed a very small sticker on the lower part of my window that said “Make Honey, Not Bombs” and I knew Basil had been back.

As per today’s Daily Post, what about a Bee who seems to want to me my BFF?

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Happy Canada Day 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA / BONNE FÊTE CANADA

CanadaDay2014

On this 148th birthday of Canada I will let others do the writing about my country. No doubt this is in keeping with our reputation of being polite folks.

The CBC has a piece on how Canada is perceived around the word, in which they ask Canadian Studies teachers and researchers to comment on Canada.

Can_VenezI don’t usually take request, but just for today I will: Sorry! You see we also seem to be known for our tendency to apologize. However I explained this in a post a couple of years ago that CNN was kind enough to link to.

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Today I Am My Father’s Age

Originally posted June 2014

Reposting for Father’s Day

Today I am the exact age my father was when he passed away. Tomorrow I will be older than my father ever was.

Yesterday marked the thirty-seventh anniversary of my father’s passing. He was born on September 21, 1922 and passed away on June 4, 1977, at the age of 54. A wee bit of math shows that he died exactly 109 days short of his 55th birthday. I was born on September 22, 1959 which means that today I am 109 days shy of my 55th birthday. Today I am the exact age my father was when he passed away. Tomorrow I will be older than my father ever was.

I am far from unique in this; but it does provide me with food for thought. I imagine this thoughtfulness is a more acute phenomenon for people who, like me, lost a parent at a young age. With people living longer and longer, “outliving” your parents is the assumed end result. As each generation benefits from better nutritional knowledge and medical advancements it only stands to reason that folks will live longer than their parents did.

My father

My father

But I believe the earlier you cross this lifespan Rubicon, the more it makes you think. By the time my father was my age he had fought in World War Two, been married for thirty years, worked at Seagram’s distillery for twenty-five years (an irony, as he was essentially teetotal, having a drink only on rare occasions such as weddings) – receiving his congratulatory watch mere months before passing – and was the father of three, and grandfather of one.

Because of the efforts of my father and millions of other volunteers, I have been spared military service and war.  I had the opportunity to earn two university degrees, yet have had several “careers” of varying lengths, ranging from months-long to sixteen years in duration, with no golden watch looming on the horizon.

I can take a picture with my mobile phone; he wasn’t a big fan of the telephone that hung on our kitchen wall. He bought tickets from a streetcar/bus driver while I charge my bus pass and scan it to gain entry to the Metro and bus.

He read a newspaper and took tablets for various aches and pains. I read the newspaper on a tablet.

Having birthdays one day apart, I like to think we had many things in common as well as the above differences that are all environmental in nature. An interesting birthday story: while I missed being a birthday gift for my father by several hours, I was a present for my grandmother with whom I shared a birthday until her passing. Moreover, my maternal grandfather signed his World War One Canadian Expeditionary Force attestation paper on September 22, 1914 while his as yet unknown to him future wife was celebrating her 22nd birthday in London.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+