COVID-19 / Coronavirus

By now, everyone on the planet knows about the spread of COVID-19 / Coronavirus.  Every news agency in the world is reporting on this daily, and daily it gets worse.  Our neighbour to the south, the USA, is said to be the worst of the industrialized nations.  Their testing was and is inadequate, which let it spread without much check.  Remember Ebola?  They weren’t prepared then, either.  Here to the north, we’ve closed our border with the US (the longest free border in the world), except for essential services, in hopes of stemming it.

I still go to work every day.  Who knows about next week though.  Our provincial government has, in my opinion, acted slowly, probably because there is no blueprint for this.  Our premier has finally said today that non-essential businesses must close.  Does that mean where I work?  We have the third highest COVID-19 infection count of all provinces / territories.  There are now 5 cases in Lethbridge, my city of 100,000 people.  I’m due to give blood in a couple of weeks.  I have no symptoms, so hopefully all the hand sanitizer I’m using helps – at work, at home, in my van, everywhere.

On my drive home, I douse my hands and face with hand sanitizer so that I lessen the risk of be bringing anything into the house.  If Mom should be effected by this, that would be the end of her.  She already has a hard time breathing and cannot walk fast.  I told her I thought it would not be a good idea to go out shopping with Floyd.  She stays in the car, but still … maybe staying at home continually isn’t very nice.  But still … <sigh>

I’ve been quite stressed by all this.  I’ve stopped tutoring in-person and now tutor online only.  Only one parent thought that the whole online thing wouldn’t work and that, if it should come to that, if she were to have to babysit the student’s use of the computer, there would be no point in having a tutor.  I intend to prove that the online thing can and will work.  And, in case my workplace closes for a while, I will at least have this tutoring gig to help me through.

I’m sure that no one these days has time to read this.  People are more concerned with loss of employment and thus money, homeschooling, stocking up on toilet rolls, etc.  So this is more to document that all this is going down and that, for now, I’m still here.

Take care, y’all.  Don’t get sick.  Stay well, be calm, help out your fellow man, be responsible, and we will all come through this.  Love you all lots.  And watch a bit of Camp & Camera.

lost all right

Floyd is watching Jurassic World this evening – people and dinosaurs running around eating each other.  I was just remembering a show I apparently watched way back as a kid called Land of the Lost.  Talk about lost.  I must have lost my mind to have watched this.   Have a watch and see if you can get past the first 15 minutes.

Tutor of the Year nomination

Wow!  Good news!  I’ve been nominated by TD for 2020 Tutor of the Year for Canada!  A student’s mom wrote a very positive report on me, and now I am in the running to win this year.  This is most pleasing.  It comes with a gift card of $xxx.xx and … who knows what else – likely a news release of some sort (in the tutoring world, that is).  I’m grateful to TD for all their support, and I’m grateful to have such great students.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – my students make me look good!


I recently started a new position at a company that makes cabinets as a drafting technologist.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been getting to know the software they use and trying to create an AWMAC compliant room-by-room materials list for a house.  I think they are a good group of people who seriously work hard.  The position, as with most positions out there, comes with a three month probationary period.  I hope I make the cut.  I’ll keep you posted.

In the mean time, there’s still TD.  They also keep me busy.  I’m not sure if I can take on any more clients with them as time is now limited.

an important difference (or, let me in, just don’t follow me)

I submitted this to the Washington Post.

I recently tried to view one of your pages ( but was transferred to another page requesting to disable my web browser’s ad-block ( I have apps on my browser to disable tracking, not ads. I do not mind ads. I believe that a free internet requires ads. However, I do not wish to be tracked. I am happy to view your ads without being tracked. I do not know how to separate the two. Firefox, Ghostery, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, Privacy Badger, and others all seem to do both simultaneously. Can you offer a method of unblocking ads without disabling tracking blocks? I would welcome this.

I wonder if anyone is listening.

how to get a five star rating (or, not)

Someone asked me why I gave five stars to a recent chat with a company.  Were they really worth five stars?  This is how I give out my stars.

One for responding within the time frame I required of them.
One for understanding the issue and not confusing it with another.
One for being knowledgeable.
One for finding a solution.
One for explaining, teaching, showing well in a meaningful, polite, non-robotic way.

If you’ve done all this, then you get five stars out of me.  If not, then not.

tiny ideas

I’ve written before about the tiny home idea previously – how it might work, what impacts it would have on a town or city, how if might help various people, etc.

Something occurred to me while going to a student’s house in a mobile home park.  There were several older mobile homes (or manufactured homes, if you will, since they’re not exactly mobile).  As these older models become less livable and their worth diminishes beyond the threshold of acceptability, they would need to be removed.  Why not use that space to install two, three, or four tiny homes?

The tiny home would fit nicely into a mobile home park.  Benefits:

  1. The infrastructure for accommodating movable homes is already there.
    1. The use of numerically numbered houses are already in place, rather than grid street addresses.
    2. Utilities electrical, gas, cable, telecommunications, and plumbing hookups are conclusive to movable homes.
    3. A non-standard placement of buildings already exist (the footprints of mobile homes are often kind of random).
  2. Lots in a mobile home park are for the most part rented, not owned, contributing for lower homeowner costs.
  3. Relocating a tiny home would be simpler in a mobile home park than a normal city street lot, allowing for easier sales and purchases of them.  Allowance could be made for shorter leases if a one-year lease isn’t desirable.
  4. Community centres are often part of a mobile home park, a facility that may be of greater benefit to a tiny home owner than the owner of a full-sized home.
  5. It would not impact the neighbourhood as negatively as the monster home crowd.  That is, not as many NIMBY complaints.

I’m sure I could continue to find reasons that this would be a good fit.  What say you?