Why Am I Here?

Not merley to provide your self indulgent curiosity of existence and creation. But, in todays world specifically, why am I here?

Why have I chosen this geographical location to once again, settle myself and re-locate the people & things that mean the most to me? I couldn’t possibly bring everything, and, anything to this place that has meaning to me. Why? Simply because, there isn’t enough room. It would also mean that, those things and people, that have found their place, would be at some kind of lose if I carelessly picked and plundered my way through my own past, to place them here.

I have found that I have returned to my place of birth, and yes, maybe even my place of origin. How could it have been any different, what were my obstacles, are my current obstacles of my doing, or yours? Did you lead me here, or did I chose it on my own?

I do know the answer to the question regarding being lead, or choosing on my own. I do believe I have made my own choices with little to no opportunity to have made it any differently.

It has not been an easy path, and yes, it has been a long one.

Am I finished? No, I am not. How will you know? Does it even matter to me if you know or not? Probably not. Have you shown care & guidance as you shepherded? That question is for you to decide, as it may be laced with your own guilt. Were we not suppose to be a community? Yes. Are we? No.

I believe I have arrived at my own conclusions as to “why am I here”. Will you learn about my reason as we proceed? Quite possibly not, because I returned to here, in a similar fashion as to the way I got here in the first place.

Only thing is, something’s are missing. Shall we proceed? Yes.

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This Touch-less & Care-less World.

The other day I was filling in some personal information on my Pharmasists web-site to establish an account for myself, to ease my access to my information, and ease the delivery, ordering of re-fills and dispensing of my new prescription.

When I had completed this, I scrolled down to find “submit”, and in doing so was possed with the question, “I am not a robot”, yes/no.

My next step was to determine how I could comment, because I wanted to let them know, I wasn’t a robot, but I am thinking about it.

Why are we so wrapped up in expediting things we once took for granted, that provided better service, deeper ability to deliver exceptional customer service and provide more joy and pleasure in ones work, as to have turned so sharply into this manner of customer input with no employee participation?

It’s dawned on me that robots do exist. They are right there, behind the Pharmacie counter. Busy tearing off little bits of paper from the tops of printers, focused on counting pills from those fancy Pharmacy pill plates into those tiny little pill bottles, and snapping them closed.

Gone are the days of a one styled transaction here. Today, once you’re known to the computer, and know how to use it, you have the distinct pleasure of turning your own Pharmacist into a robot.

Direct billing, direct ordering, and all you have to do, is say thank you robot.

The Question of Play

affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The question of play, has been in existence, I would say since feelings of responsibilities, measuring, monitoring, rewarding and discipline have found their way into our lives, and especially into well organized and profitable work organizations.

The existence of play should not be eliminated from our work places, as it can prove to be rewarding for those employees who involve themselves in “work play”. Definitely add some structure, a specific goal for the organization itself, and provide all attempts to elimate harm from both the company and the lives of employees who have all chosen to participate, either in groups, or on an individual basis.

Play at work does not mean, spit balling through your paper straw you picked up at the lunch counter, punching four eyes in the face who determinately works in the corner to better himself and provide for his family. It requires some degree of, open communication, not left to group play that includes shrugs, sneers and boil over water cooler gossip that only bruises those who do not share the same same style of communication or coping strategy, and have not yet had the opportunity to take in the company’s H.R. Lunch & Learn on any general topic they have chosen to work with.

As a sales professional, I found “Play” an essential office practise I turned professional when dealing with the approach, I practised and strategized. Developed and learned from my own errors in order to reach a level in my professional consultative sales activities, ensuring my key measurements would be either reached or exceeded.

My approach to any type or style of group play began, as I silently entered my work into our cubical styled team “reach for thee top” mentality that prexisted my willingness to compete. My initial strategy was always to back down. Why? Because we didn’t share the same accounts, the same opportunities, the same demographic of customer and most importantly, our learning backgrounds were not the same. My competition was sitting at home, around the dinner table, were demands were made, such as “Dad, I need new skates”, “Dad, I want a hampster”, “Dad, can we go camping”. And yes, I wore glasses.

Myself, from day one, I had no interest in unorganized and non-communicave play. My immediate strategy was to back down, I was a little more mature and aged in this, our styles would only clash, and detramize any and all professionalism I felt was being anticipated by our employer. We were not paid as one, we were not rewarded as one, why should I ever consider myself to demonstrate a supportive “play structure” in such an unprofessional manor?

We definitely did not share same past times, same anything, except meet your work requirements and have a nice drive home. I didn’t even live in the same community, so catchiing up at the end of the day, over a cold beer, was defiantly, out of the question. So I turned to my client base, prospecting, drilling for pertinate information that would lead to qualty proposals, potential revenue for my employer, and, at the end of the day, add to & increase my commission s so I could say, yes you may have new skates, yes lets look into getting a hampster, camping(?), I’d love to.

It was my deep feelings and regard, respect and pented knowledge I felt my accounts held that left me feeling like a Gold Panner, searching for the right buzz, the right “Oh yeah, tell me more” response that I knew would flow from those with desire to make a change in their work environment, the challenge was getting them introduced to recognizing it in a way that allowed them to express themselves in a way that would show. The benefit to me, as the mediator between a world of me generating enough frustration or internal friction, to motivate an account to stay with me, as I digested their pain, and make one reasonable recommendation to bring them down & around again, while they maintained their essential activities and productivity, and not shake the structure they made themselves comfortable in, and justified. These wete also lean times, moving to a different company would change all the dynamics too much, I was out of the training gate, had enough time under my belt to understand this “Play Perspective”, and enough shoulder to keep to myself as I progressed.

Here I was, the challenger. And I won, over and over again. Living in this culture for almost seven years. Seven years of play, “Hello, this is Mr. Consultative Sales Rep, and I am calling you today so I can rip apart all understanding of every antidocal and reason, you have continued to poor resources into this structure you call, efficiency. Guess what Mr(s). Customer, your organization is suffering and has been suffering, ever since you stopped looking beyond your unmanageable & inappropriate blinders you’ve been at home with since you gave up. Could you only imagine.

But, essentially, this is what I did. Okay, on occasion I may have simply flipped one tiny solution for a new and similarity priced, feature rich solution that had high sales appeal, for the only benefit of keeping pace with my defined, scrutinized and handed down monthly measurement sheet that was apparently the insurance every being, seated in the collaborative cube-farm I was to call “Work Enviroment”, for the 7 year duration that turned out to be my #2 career.

You know, I loved it. How did I “Play”, I played fair. Wanna learn more? Then, simply pay attention as my blogging matures, and editors with their web crawlies begin picking up on my content generation.

Are you ready? Let’s continue, and most importantly, let’s go home.

I think I’m in the wrong neighbourhood.

Okay, so it’s like this. You either have, or do not have a destination in mind as you turn the corner. You find yourself once again on a either meaningless and/or pointless walk that has some sort of fuzzy destination. The kind of destination, you think exists, or should exist if you go that way. You just finished juggling with the map you tucked into your shoulder bag, dropped your cell phone back into a pocket of your jacket, push your glasses back off the bridge of your nose to, once again that comfortable ou knew you would find.

And then, you look up, and you look around. “Where the “F” am I. This is not my route, how am I going to find that perfect cafe, that perfect bistro, the moist almond croissant I have only been dreaming of since I last had one 23 years ago to the day and only just reminded as I pass one of those more popular non-trendy, weak urban, coffee flop franchise houses that exist in every city almost any of the airlines sly into today. Again, “Where the “F” am I?

These people are not my kind, they all wear looks and expressions that do not coincide with the types of day to day destinationing I have in mind. They are actually holding on to beverages and those damn bags from the cheaper and over produced bakery & coffee shops that only produce them as the demand is so high, and supply is almost as high. They have no concern of individually supporting the coffers of a more interested bakery who charges 25% or more than the bag stuffed with mass production donuts. Once again, “Where am I?

This is crazy, I’m not interested in continue, but I also have a burning need to move forward before the timing of this craving leads to starvation and dehydration, ha,ha,ha.

Fuck it man, is all I can say. “Where’s the F’n map, it’s time to go.”

Top 5 Things To Eat – When Visiting Montreal

1) The Bagel

Never mind getting into restocking the inter city bagel war that has occupied too much time between Montreal & Toronto, as to which city has the best bagel. A radio show I listened to years ago, when living outside Toronto, mentioned “The Best Bagel, is the one your mother gives you”. No truer words have been spoken.

That said, the world has somehow got a thing for bagels, and some of the best are available in this city.

The simplicity of choosing between poppyseed, sesame seed or plain, has occupied as much time any shopper deserves. The attendants are always pleasant to ensure you make the best selection in your choosing.

Many establishments have added very complimentary spreads to accompany something so freshly baked, and lightly toasted. Garlic cream cheese, Garlic & Herb, as well as various fruit flavours have moved the plain toasted bagel to the side.

But when it comes to outdoor, early morning Bistro sitting, nothing accompanies your bagel, as well as a well made espresso, in its tiny porcelain carafe & saucer.

2) Smoked Meat

Commonly ordered here as, Montreal Smoked Meat. But my question has always been, where’s the smoke? All sandwiches I’ve witnessed being carefully prepared and well presented are brind.

Aged in brine, left to cureand casually placed on display appears to be the ritual of “Montreal Smoked Meat”. Plenty of restraunts available for you to choose your trimmings, but, always accompany your sandwich on rye, side of coleslaw and a pickle. Balancing a platter version with freshly cut fries and a cold fountain pop.

What can I say but, “Welcome to Montreal, please pass the mustard”.

3) Poutine

Poutine, poutine, poutine so glorious there should be a song about this age old, and traditional Quebec comfort food.

Starting with pipping hot fries, topped with cheese curds, and (my excuse, to keep the serving hot), a generous ladel of rich, think, and hearty gravy. This sauce other purpose is to begin the melting process of the cheese curd, so that when you begin to tuck into it, you are reminded of those toasted, grilled cheese sandwiches your Mother served you. Todays Poutine is so far ahead of where it started, and not so far ahead of this.

My favorite, topped with medium rare slices of steak and raw onions. Perhaps topped with horse radish, or green onions, or, or, or. The list of condiments is almost endless to any self – trained Foodie.

Montreal appears to boast with variety, stunning contrasts and cross cultural approaches in the availabilty of Poutine.

As a side note, it has always been my belief, Poutine should be eaten with chopsticks.

4) Maple Syrup (Cabane Sucre)

Truly a late winter early spring nectare of the God’s. Maple syrup is still gathered by hand in many areas, even though tree tapping has turned to plastic pipping strapped from tree to tree to tree to tree to sugar shack.

Often refferred to, as “sugaring off the maple”. As a youth I was fortunate enough to have been hands on involved with with the manual gathering process. Collecting enough sap on a Saturday morning, transfering it in the back of a beaten up, bush worthy pickup back to the farm house where we began the boil experience.

Left as a young boy in the driveway of our friends home, I stood over a very pleasant and roasty fire pit as a pot or two of our harvest began to boil, then simmer and reduce. You could have even sold the steam from the boil if there had been a way to collect it. The sap was heated and reduced into syrup until it had gained the consistancy we were looking for.

When in Montreal local syrup is available either in traditional fashioned “Caban Sucre” kiosk shacks, and hard to miss when out for a morning stroll in almost any restraunt area, you will see standard syrup containers dawning the tables of breakfast houses. A dead give away that crepes & pancakes are on the menu. Your eye will then be transfixed on thos glass jarred, silver handled and capped self serve syrup containers.

Those classic pull back dispensers with its clearly amber contents, waiting for the next customer. Enjoy, and be sure to drop into a retailer who sells, inorder that you may laddle some into your take home bag, and share with friends & family. The champagne of Quebec, Bon Appettite.

5) Steak & Frites

Maybe its just an upgraded burger with fries order, but Steak & Frites adornes many of the menus here in Montreal. It isn’t anything like dropping into your local restraunt, ordering your favorite steak and side of fries. This is, Steak & Frites. “How do you like it”, is about the only question you will be asked. And yes, all he wants to know is, medium rare, medium or medium well, no more information required, simply ordered.

When you’ve ordered Steak & Frites you’ve already conjoured up what it will be. Your first visit, made a nasty assumption about your best man grill you ever made, you ain’t seen nothing yet, burger boy. Once you’ve hit that first experience in all the right spots, never forget, no doubt it will be repeated and you can surrender your backyard, home turf BBQ bristle and tongues.

Montreal, Steak & Frites doesn’t have a grade, nor does it have a point score. It has a grade and standard, set by the establishment and staff that serves with pride.

No doubt, somewhere in this city, is a true, timely & traditional butcher that knows part of the secret as to, how thick, what cut, proper storage and maybe even, which chef is going to get it for his restraunt.

The fries, are not thick cut Texan heavy pieces of potatoe that are put infront of you for bragging rights. No, no, no. These fries are often the shoestring cut that allow for short order crispyness, pilled high to retain the heat, and delicatley scopped and put beside the steak already plated and ready for service.

When you try it for either the first time, or the next time simply do this. Enjoy the wine and stay for dessert, these guys absolutley know what they are doing.

Bubble tea bubble, about to burst.

With the recent movement, banning plastic straws, Bubble Tea business is about to burst.

It appears almost impossible to enjoy this beverage any other way, than to drop a straw through the top of the container, stir, slurp & enjoy.

These fat straws have been specially designed to allow the user to draw the tapioca balls up, along with the beverage.

Vancouver has taken the first steps in this ban, bubble tea, the first negative contender.

Dear straw haters, your move.

Purpose – China Town – Montreal – Part I, SITES

20180509_081151.jpgWalking ChinaTown in Montreal this morning I found myself reflecting on, purpose.

Glancing threw the windows to gain a sense of, who. Not who are you, but who are you attracting. Why are you here, and what do you want?

Why here, and not posted on a website somewhere for me to find, in a community flyer that might have been delivered to my doorstep earlier in the week or maybe even posted on a radio ad that I could have listened to and been reminded of a basic want or need that drew me close enough to hover over your window display this morning.

Why me, I don’t live here, I have no shelf space for these items, some of the items I can’t even afford. Other items provide me with no purpose. It must have been, intrigue, no doubt an absence of something I unconsciously stumbled upon.

While stuck to your display I began to realize what it was I had come to rest on, it was a tea ball, but not just any tea ball. It was a tea ball with a sense of belonging. It reflected a seemingly Chinese culture of taking something so basic, so full of repetition, and removing boredom from this products use. It belonged in the window display in a ChinaTown Souvenir Store, it belonged in the mug to provide definition and usefulness to passerby’s and it belonged to the similar items on display.

Without being displayed in a mug, it could have been mistakenly thought of as an air freshener, a chew toy or even a child’s popsicle mold. The fact that this tea ball was in the shape of a human, with its arms reached out in opposite directions and clinging to the side of a mug, and the ever present reminder of the items questionable bottom half with its’ infuser appearance and functionality.

Obviously, a tea ball. Instructions? Self explanatory given the display, the simplicity of what this item does, and what I needed to do to continue the enjoyment this item could potentially provide. It was ready for use, but required a transaction.

My next step, open the door, walk in the store, search for the saleable item, complete a purchase and walk it to it’s purpose.

The problem, the store was closed. The teaball would remain away from me until I had a reminder of need. Was there going to be one? I doubted it, I don’t live here, I don’t have shelf space for it, I saw no means of the shop keeper or shop, identifying with me in any way that either one of them could remind me of a potential purchase.

So I left without disappointment, without hesitation. I simply left, because when I looked away from the window display, and down along the cobblestone pedestrian street, I saw more storefronts.

More storefronts, to me, meant more opportunities to glance into this world of window displays that these Chinese business people have invested in. providing a sense of purpose to their saleable items, and a greater sense of purpose to those that approach the shopkeeper to complete purchases of items they need or want.

My sense of purpose wasn’t eroded from the fact I left empty handed. I left satisfied in knowing that ahead of me were many other window displays, and happy that out there somewhere, were people still curious enough to take such a necessary item to tea-making, as a tea-ball, and remove the repetitive factor of its use, in a simplistic, useful and casual nature as this.