Step two...

The next phase of online self indulgence.
I made the mistake of monkeying around with my original BLOG located here and ruining it.
I am useless.
I am starting over..and here we go.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting Caught Up

Well the summer has come to an end and we have started to slide into Fall.

This is a good thing regardless of my children s opinion.
They all love school...which is odd...

Avery was a little shaky at first but she has come around nicely.

I had a chance to observe her today through the classroom window unbeknownst  ...I had dropped Owen off from a running event and just stood outside the classroom for a few minutes spying.

Ave was interacting nicely and laughing and playing. Her teacher noticed me at one point and gave me a thumbs up.
All's cool on that front and even I have started to let go a was very touching.

I have found that the excuses that I have had over the past little while for being a disorganised mess of a human might actually have been valid.

Today was the first day whereI was off work on a day of rest and Kim had a teaching day and all the kids were in school.


Lawn fertilized, house cleaned, car washed, gear organized for fall, garage cleaned and still managed practice a little on the Gee-tar..( still can't quite get the handle on Ramble On...might have to kill myself )

A house to myself...?

I may start to like this... a lot.

Last weekend the boys made a run over to Michigan to allegedly fish for Salmon.

I would rather stick a Michigan cricket in my ass then fish for Salmon...but getting drunk in the Manistee National forest right on the edge of fall is not without a certain appeal... I am IN!

It was a good time as usual. A few fish were caught and hooked but for the most part it was kinda like going to the Zoo.

..a trip to the Zoo capped off to a 10PM vist to Tippy Dam where one could witness the true hyperbarbarous behaviour that the fall Salmon run inspires..

Never sure whether to laugh or cry...

Oh well..There but for the grace of god go I ..or something like fun is right around the corner and it was good to blow the dust off the Float chops.

I am usually into fish by mid October and after that November is just a hold your breath couple of weeks away.

I am going to fish hard this year.

I do need a new wading jacket though...the stink of mine is almost painful.

DSCF0979 from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

I have great plans to get Owen on the river with me this year. He is 11 and ready...although he may be bringing the Bow while I fish.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I am become 'Garnet'???

Well I have realized my true potential I suppose.

My friend Garnet trades in cars like most people switch shoes....actually scratch that... I have had my shoes way longer than G-Dawg has ever owned a

Well...long story short I took delivery of our new Mazda 5. The 2012 blowout incentives were just too good to pass up.
I had kind of made up my mind a while back that I would  just accept the fact that I am going to have a car payment for most of my life and that is that.
I know new cars are bad investments and blah blah fucking blah...but the payments really are no that bad...the car is fun to drive and I don't have to worry about break down s when we go on long trips....which we never do...but there it spins..

Anyway ...after having a talk with Garnet I called my local Mazda guy.

After trading in my 2010 for this 2012 my payments have actually gone down right around $30/Month...

I do lose my moonroof , LED taillights and super cool rims but this gets me out of putting new tires on the the older one and doing the brakes..

These cars are pretty cool and even though it confirms my neutered dorkiness I am pretty pumped..and the blue is growing on me.

Also I just confirmed that I will be playing my annual two day Jazz gig again with my friend Torrie.

Unfortunately it falls right in the middle of Steelhead season   :o/

Should be fun though.

This seven day stretch has been busy as hell but really cool.

Fishing trip this weekend and I am bringin the new much for that new car smell.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summers End

 Well the north winds are starting to blow and the hurricanes have started to come ashore across the continent.

I feels wrong to hope for disaster but the fact is that in 2006... the year of Katrina...we had the greatest Steelhead season ever...Hmmmm...

New Orleans has already seen another this year and supposedly there is a bit of nastiness brewing off the east coast of Canada...


In retrospect it was a pretty good summer. I worked a ton of hours and I am still waiting for the much needed OT money to come rolling in...but the working is done..for the most part.

Kim is already booked for a few teaching days and that really takes the pressure off.

I have a seven day stretch starting tomorrow and I don't think that I will take any OT...fuck it...
It has been a very long time since I have enjoyed a seven day stretch without the odd OT shift thrown in there...enough is enough.

I have no plans this week other than the possible visit from some good friends and a possible car purchase. know you have been successfully neutered when a min van purchase is considered exciting..I lost myself somewhere only the way.

Kim and I took the kids to the Pinery on Sunday and really had a great time.

My kids are awesome and I don't know what I would do without them.

 It makes me sick to think of the time I have wasted at work this summer and been away from them but I have done my best to find ways to make the most of my days off with them.

Avery has started school and so far she has been in tears every morning. I am an emotional person and it has been really hard for me to see her off on this stage of her life.

In a lot of ways it is the end of something special...gone never to return...and that hurts. Hurts a lot.

Anyway...there is a fishing /drinking trip on the horizon and it should be a very good time but the real fishing is truly just around the corner and I am pretty jacked up...

I'd give anything for a nice loose hen this fall....oh that magical Chunny roe from Michigan...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day

Unions are still as necessary as ever

When I was a union steward for Local 541 of the CAW, representing workers at the ABB plant here in Guelph, I heard nearly every argument you could imagine against unions.
I had my own issues with the union. I didn’t like the culture of unnecessary and unproductive union-management confrontation that did more to hurt our public image than help us. I also had concerns with the growing disconnect between the workers and the union executives who had adopted a lifestyle not unlike the corporate executives they were paid to negotiate with.
Nevertheless, I took my role as a union steward seriously and did my best to protect the rights of the workers.
I am no longer a union member. There is no international brotherhood of freelance journalists that I am aware of, but I still sympathize with the labour movement and recognize the right and, in many cases, the need for workers to organize.
Before we look at the relevance of unions today, it would help to remember the historical contribution they have made to our standard of living.
Guaranteed work hours, guaranteed wages, minimum wage, pay equity, paid holidays, unemployment insurance, workplace health and safety legislation, universal health care, as well as many other benefits and protections we take for granted, were won through the sacrifice of average working people who organized to improve working conditions.
Some say, now that we have these benefits and protections, unions are no longer necessary. My experience suggests otherwise.
Sure, there are ethical employers who respect their workers and pay them a decent wage. Generally, those employers live in the same community as their employees. They shop at the same stores and their kids go to the same schools and play on the same sports teams. In the case of my former employer, ABB, the company had no connection to the community. The senior managers lived in Sweden and Switzerland and had little or no connection to the community here.
Right or wrong, this is the nature of a globalized economy that is driven primarily by the bottom line and anything that interferes with achieving that narrow goal is an obstacle to be removed.
The single biggest obstacle for ABB was the union, as is the case with most multinationals operating in North America. If you can drive down wages and benefits you can increase profits for the company and shareholders.
I suppose we should ask ourselves what is the purpose of an economic system. Is it to generate wealth for the few or is it to benefit the largest number of people and society as a whole?
The gap between the rich and poor is widening and the middle class is all but wiped out. Over the last four decades wages for working-class people in North America have stagnated and even declined in relation to the cost of living. In the same period, the salaries of corporate executives have tripled, quadrupled and, in some cases, risen 1,000 per cent.
Many economists equate this trend with the reciprocal decline in union membership over the same period. Some would argue this is a simplistic explanation for a complex problem but it makes sense to me.
As the average wage declines it becomes harder for working-class people to afford domestically produced goods so we drive manufacturers that can’t afford to relocate in developing countries to make cuts to wages and benefits or go out of business, thus perpetuating the steady decline.
Why do these multinationals relocate to China and other developing countries? It is not to raise the standard of living for the people there. It is to exploit a cheap workforce and take advantage of weak environmental and labour laws.
We are told we are going to have to give up many of the benefits and protections we fought for if we want to compete. Tell me again why we don’t need unions.
Troy Bridgeman is a Guelph author and journalist. His column appears Wednesdays.