Success at Work at the Expense of Mental and Physical Well-Being

I saw this interview on CBC’s The National newscast, and it really spoke to me! Personally, I have NEVER been able to achieve a 40-hour work week without feeling utterly exhausted (and no, it’s not something my body gets used to), sacrificing relationships, and my mental and physical well being, and I KNOW many others feel the same way!

I have NEVER understood the societal norm and expectation of working full-time, beyond the fact that people tend to get paid per hour, and due to the cost of living, on average people need those 40 or more hours to pay all their expenses. That being said, that DOESN’T mean they’re performing at their best OR being entirely productive every single one of those hours. That’s not a knock on anyone, it’s just human nature.

From experience, I KNOW I function best when working approximately 20 to an absolutely maximum of 30 hours per week. No matter how hard I have tried to better manage my sleep, eating habits, or any other part of my lifestyle – that’s my max. Society can demand all it wants, but that’s my personal limit, and I am committed to respecting that – for my mental and physical well being!

If that means I earn less and have to do with less, then so be it. I’m happier, healthier, and more productive for it!

“When we’re told to sleep more, meditate, and slow down, we nod our heads in agreement, yet seem incapable of applying this advice in our own lives.

Why do we act against our creative best interests?

WE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO FLOAT.

The answer lies in our history, culture, and biology. Instead of focusing on how we work, we must understand why we work―why we believe that what we do determines who we are.

Hustle and Float explores how our work culture creates contradictions between what we think we want and what we actually need, and points the way to a more humane, more sustainable, and, yes, more creative, way of working and living.”

Bill Nye Explains Global Warming During Viral Video Segment on Last Week Tonight

NOTE: This video does contain coarse language.

Bill Nye the Science Guy – The Planet is on F*cking Fire!!!

Recently during a segment on Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver, Bill Nye the Science Guy explained global warming in a quick, but powerful moment. He does use the f-bomb, but to great effect, effectively telling us in no uncertain terms to “grow the f—k up” and saying the world is “on f—king fire”. He also mentions that global warming is an expensive thing to fix, like anything else. This may be of particular interest to those who grew up watching his show.

As someone on Social Media pointed out: “This is a lesson on swearing. Don’t swear 99.99% of the time, so when you do you get a recognizable impact.”

To quote the video:

“Here, I’ve got an experiment for you, put your safety glasses on. By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees. What I’m saying is the planet is on fucking fire! There are a lot of things we can do to put it out. Are any of them free? No! Of course not! Nothing’s free you idiots. Grow the fuck up! You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were twelve, but you’re adults now and this is an actual crisis! Got it? Safety glasses off motherfuckers.”

I have seen a lot of articles and tweets addressing the REAL problem of Global Warming, or to put it in perspective – the Climate Crisis. There have even been ‘Climate Emergency Declarations“, which I actually think is mostly lip service. We as a society NEED to take REAL and DRAMATIC action, or this crisis WILL get worse, which people like Greta Thunberg do a fantastic job of emphasizing! Just talking about it and making small changes in our lifestyles, although important, won’t change that, and clearly hasn’t gone far enough. If we want to continue to call this planet home, we must do more!

Toastmasters SpeechCraft Ice Breaker

This is the speech I gave at the Komoux Toastmasters club at North Island College (NIC) on Thursday, May 16th. If you find it difficult to view the video on the screen at the beginning, please watch the Rowing Video on my YouTube channel before watching this speech. Although I’m very happy with the content, I’m not entirely happy with my delivery of this speech. My mentor and I discussed it afterwards, and I will be making changes and practicing and preparing more before giving it again in the future. That said, Toastmasters is all about doing and learning and doing it better next time, and so on. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. We’re allowed to make mistakes without judgement. We’re there to get better and improve our communication skills.

My Toastmasters Speech About Weather

This is my second speech from the CC (Competent Communicator) Toastmasters manual. It covers my love of the weather, what inspired my passion for it, my thoughts on where people should get their weather information, and my weather stations.

I will be learning from this speech, and with the help of my mentor, making changes and fine tuning it in preparation to give a slightly longer version of it in a couple of weeks, which I will also record and post to YouTube and my website.

Dying With Dignity: Why We Wish My Dad Had Been Given the Option of MAID

Thanks to a friend, I discovered this this lengthy Twitter thread. It is absolutely worth reading. it involves an elderly lady who was dying and decided to end life on her terms, with the help and support of her wonderful doctor, MAID (Medically Assisted Death), and her loving family. She absolutely died with dignity.

I only wish my Dad had had the option of MAID. We had discussed it in the months previous to his death in late 2015 and 2016, and he really wanted it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that he literally talked about it and asked for it every time we visited him in Assisted Living. We discussed it with his doctor with him as well. It came into law when he had lost his motor skills thanks to Multiple System Atrophy.

He couldn’t sign the document, and no one else was willing to sign on his behalf, and family wasn’t allowed (because of the risk we could “influence” his decision). Because of this, he spent several weeks in needless pain and suffering before he passed, though they gave him meds to ease the pain and made him as comfortable as possible.

Anyway, hopefully that isn’t a problem now. People who meet the rules can make the decision when they’re of sound mind, and they can sign while they still can, and have MAID when they want it, and die with dignity.

‘Agent’ is a Free Glorified ‘Do Not Disturb’ app for Android. Here’s Why I Love It and How You Can Get It.

When I got my first Android phone a few years ago, The Do Not Disturb features were pathetic. I quickly discovered the FREE ‘Agent’ app. Strange name, but it does exactly what I need and more!

A couple of months ago, either it or my phone was giving me grief, and I decided to remove and reinstall the app.

Apparently, until recently, it was available in the Google Play Store. Now an app called ‘Trigger’ replaces it, from the same company. I tried it. It’s harder to setup, doesn’t work nearly as well, and the majority of features won’t work unless you pay for them ($7 as I recall).

Let me be clear: I’m more than happy to pay for an app like this. I usually it literally on a daily basis. I paid for ‘Trigger’, but the paid features didn’t work very well for me. I would absolutely have paid for ‘Agent’ to support it, but it’s never had that option.

So, I uninstalled ‘Trigger’, and desperately tried to find ‘Agent’ again. I was able to find the install file (APK) on APKPure.

Download the ‘Agent’ app here.

You can also download the Agent app from my Dropbox here.

I downloaded it to my phone, used the built-in File Manager to find the ‘Downloads’ folder, and tapped the ‘Agent’ APK file to install it.

Since you’re not installing the app from Google Play, your phone will prompt you to allow the ‘install from unknown sources’, and should ask your permission to do so. Once that’s done, it will install. APKPure and this particular APK file are completely safe.

Upon further digging, I discovered the Agent app hasn’t been updated since early 2017. Not sure why Google Play removed it, though. The app works fine.

This is the main ‘Agent’ screen. It has many settings in which it will mute your phone when scheduled. It can detect when you’re driving, or you can tell it when you’ll be in meetings, or sleeping.

This is what the Sleep settings in the app look like on my phone. It forces my phone to be silent at night, and during my regular weekly Toastmasters meetings.

You can also set a ‘custom list’, meaning that when certain people that you select call or text you, your phone will make it’s regular sounds. Otherwise, it stays silent during that time. Incredibly useful feature!

This is the ‘Driving’ screen. You can leave it as default settings, or you can view or customize those settings by tapping ‘More Settings’.

Here is the ‘More Settings’ screen under the ‘Driving’ section of the app. By default, it can auto-respond to calls (not sure what that means, haven’t tried it). It can also auto-respond to text messages while you’re driving with an auto response, which you can customize.

‘Agent’ is an awesome app – for the most part. It’s a bit glitchy. Usually it works great, but sometimes it won’t disabled silent mode automatically, or vise versa. I have to open the app, ‘pause’ the setting, sometimes even go into the setting and ‘save changes’, even though I’ve made none, and exit the app, and it suddenly does what it’s supposed to. Also, restarting the phone sometimes corrects things as well.

So, I still recommend checking your phone before meetings, before bed, and when you wake up, to ensure ‘Agent’ is doing what’s it supposed to. Other than that, I highly recommend this app!

Is ‘Stigma’ Really the Greatest Barrier to Mental Health Treatment? Or is There More To It?

Free stock photo from Pexels.com

I recently came across this fantastic article on Elle.com talking about mental health and barriers to treatment. It honestly reinforces the way I’ve felt, thought, and have experienced for many years! It doesn’t dismiss ‘stigma’, but rather explores what can happen when people actually seek help. Absolutely an article worth reading!

Here are some excerpts:

“Clinging to a more digestible explanation of the issue avoids the more difficult truth: that in 2019, even if you recognize and seek help for your mental health problems, you may not receive it.”

“‘Awareness’ is actually at an all time high, but yet mental health is at an all time low. In the stigma-free utopia we are running toward with arms outstretched – a place in which we have sloganed away all discomfort and found ourselves on the other side of shame – what are we actually likely to find? A broken, unworkable system, that is not equipped to deal with those who need it most.”


Firefox Add-Ons Disabled? Here’s How to Fix It.

On Friday night (May 3rd, 2019), Many users of Firefox noticed that their add-ons (extensions) suddenly stopped working. Mozilla (makers of Firefox) worked hard all weekend to correct the problem, which they went into some detail about here.

Better, more detailed articles, for those who care about the technical reasons of what happened, can be found here (Engadget) and here (Bleeping Computer).

For most people, not having add-ons is an inconvenience, but for some it’s a need. For those on limited data plans, including mobile, ads can eat up a lot of data, so Ad blockers do have their legitimate uses. Mom and I depend on LastPass, so that was also disabled, and thus we couldn’t easily log into our banking, for example. Thankfully nothing urgent in our case, but still irritating.


The next morning (Saturday), Mozilla released a temporary fix for the issue, which was being rolled out to ALL users of Firefox, supposedly within a 6 hour time frame. That said, many users, including my Mom, had to wait longer.

Why Mozilla didn’t just put a link on their website or blog post to download the fix isn’t clear, but they did include it in tweets for some reason. So, I downloaded and installed it on my secondary computer and Mom’s computer and it worked instantly.

You can download the fix here.

You will see this pop-up when you click that link. No need to worry. Go ahead and click ‘Add’. The fix will take effect instantly and your Add-Ons will work again.

If for some reason they don’t, the newest version of Firefox with that link included is now available (as of Monday). Go to getfirefox.com, or click the ‘Hamburger’ icon in the top right of Firefox, then ‘Help’, then ‘About Firefox’, and click the ‘update to 66.0.4’ button.