Finding My Strengths

“Far too many people spend a lifetime headed in the wrong direction. They go not only from the cradle to the cubicle, but then to the casket, without uncovering their greatest talents and potential.”

Rath, Tom. Strengths Finder 2.0   New York: Gallup Press, 2007

I got the chills when I read that.  As I try to figure out what the next stage of my career will be like, I want to have a better grasp of my skills, talents and mission in life.  I may not  utilize all my talents at my next job.  But I need to find out what they are first and develop an outlet to fully deploy them.  I don’t want to look down at my body when I’m done with it and wish I had live my life differently.

Advice and comments are always appreciated.


A Friend In Need

There’s a lot on my mind tonight.  I got an email from a friend with some distressing news.  I hope my friend pull through and stay strong.  But this person’s life will be changed dramatically.  All this turmoil is being caused by others are trying to take advantage of my friend.  I’m being deliberately vague in describing this to protect my friend.  Please keep my friend in your prayers and thoughts.

I hope someday we’ll live in a world where everyone is accepted and we are all equal.

Run River North At Adelaide Hall, Toronto

I caught  Run River North  when they were in town on Saturday Sept. 10th.  It’s my third time watching them.  They played at the Adelaide Hall in Toronto after performing in Buffalo the previous night.  It seemed like an odd 2 city jaunt to the north east.  They played here in April.  Last month, they played for the first time at the Summer Sonic Festival in Osaka and Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival in Korea back in August.

Their performance consisted mostly of songs from their Run or Hide album mixed with songs from their first self titled album.  They left out old favorites such as Monsters Calling Home, Run River Run and In The Water.  I suppose every band has to start culling the old material and push the newer ones.  They did (if my memory is accurate) include Lying Beast, Foxbeard, Growing Up and Fight to Keep with the last album with the last 2 as their encore.  It’s a more rock sounding band.  Daniel Chae didn’t play the violin.  Jennifer Rim carried the load although she had a stint at the guitar and vocal for one song.  The vocals are still very satisfying.  It’s going to be interesting to see how they evolve and what their new material sounds like.  The hall didn’t seem that full although I was standing near the front.  Maybe there wasn’t enough publicity and promotion except through the band’s own social media.

They played well as usual and seem very comfortable after having a few tours under their belt.  They had no problem developing a rapport with the audience.  They thanked the audience a few times for supporting them by coming out and buying their merchandise. The lead singer Alex Hwang apologized for dropping an f-bomb at a drunken heckler at their last performance in Toronto in April. He didn’t need to nor was it expected but it was nice and speaks to their professionalism.   All in all, a nice concert from this well rounded,  mature band.  I wish they played a bit longer.  It’ll be interesting to see how they evolve.  It’s a tough business and I wish them well.

I took a bunch of pictures with only a handful that turned out.  One of these days, I’ll learn how to take better pictures and figure out how to handle the concert lighting.  Sorry – I didn’t take a decent picture of the other member Sally Kang.

  1.  Guitarist Daniel Chae

Version 2

2.  Violinist Jennifer Rim playing guitars during 1 song.  I should have cropped this a bit better.Version 2

3.  Drummer John Chong (who is absolutely fun to watch) and bassist Joe Chun doing vocals for Growing Up.  Version 3

4.  Singer Alex Hwang and Bassist Joe Chun (should have cropped this a bit better too).  This was from my phone.img_3952

Anyone Interested In Hiring Me?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been drawn to looking at jobs and/or volunteering at non profit organizations.  I even looked at volunteering at an AIDS hospice and another palliative care place although I’m not sure about my own capabilities in dealing with death.  Maybe I’m misinterpreting my own needs.

If anyone out there wants to hire me, I’m available.  I use my sense of humour to deflect work and accountability.  You’ll walk away laughing completely forgetting why you came to see me.  I’ll be laughing too. So we both win.  I do work well with people.

But not with:

  • pushy sales folks
  • overly detailed finance numbers guys
  • auditor
  • brown nosers
  • people who can’t follow instructions
  • people who take too many coffee breaks
  • people who think yelling and screaming is a leadership trait

Oh yeah, I want a 6 figure salary and 6 weeks vacation plus the usual benefits.

p.s. I don’t check my social media when I’m at work.

Getting healthier

I have been anxiously dreading my physical checkup.  I never know what doctors will find when they examine me.  While I’ve been seeing my new doctor for a few months, this will be my first physical with him.  I showered like I always do each morning taking care to clean a bit more down there as he’ll be poking around.   I wondered if I should trim my pubes too.  After all, I want to be courteous.

Once I got to his office, he gave me the results of my blood test.  All my blood sugar and cholesterol were normal and way better than the last test.  My resting heart rate and blood pressure were also normal.  Before he started my checkup, he said there must have been a booking error because they didn’t book enough time for everything.  But he was going to do as much as he can.  He checked my eyes, ears, mouth, lungs etc.. he then asked if I wanted my testicles and prostate checked.  Gee… this is always the highlight of a physical and of course I said yes.

I could have said no. In the old days, I probably would have declined and chickened out. But I wanted to make sure everything was fine.  I didn’t make any jokes while he was checking my stuff.  For example “How did you guys practice this when you were medical students?”   It was over quickly and there weren’t any problems.

As he finished the checkup,  he complimented me on my lifestyle changes.  I still need to lose some more weight.   He asked me to focus more on portion control and add more resistance training.  So the regular walks and some cardio on the threadmill have paid off.  I eat more veggies, fruits and grains like oatmeal and barley.  Maybe this is one of the benefits of being out of work.  I have more time to focus on my health.

Air Show pictures

I took advantage of the nice weather this past weekend to watch the Canadian International Air Show.   It was a hot, sunny day and even though I wore a hat and sunscreen (SPF50), I got a bit of a sunburn.  It’s a challenge shooting these fast moving planes.  I still have much to learn as a photographer.  I still use my Canon EOS40D and has a 70 – 200 mm F4 L IS lens.   I was facing the sun all afternoon and I wasn’t sure how to compensate for it.  I shot at 1/400 and 1/500 shutter speed priority and used a +1 stop exposure compensation.

  1.  Canadian Forces Snowbirds (CT 114 Tutors).  They aren’t the fastest planesI actually shot this from my building (not from my unit).  I live near the lake and sometimes the planes fly over when they are regrouping.


2. It’s blurry but this was the only decent shot I had of this pass from the Snowbirds.img_7201

3.  The Brietling Jet Team with their L-39C Albatros (Czech). IMG_5293

4.  Yak Attack’s Grumman TBM Avenger.  It’s nice to see these old planes still flying.  I just realized I should have used a slower shutter speed to give the propeller more “motion”.


4.  CF 18 Hornet Demo.


I saw other pictures of the airshow and they found a way to deal with the sun and the haze.  I’ll have to read up more on how to deal with this.  Maybe I have to set my exposure manually instead of shutter speed priority.  Even with the center focus, maybe the bright sky is throwing things off.


MS Word and Apple’s Pages

I hate these compatibility issues between the 2 products.  My resume was created in Word by my resume coach.  When she gives it to me, I edit it using Pages and then export it back to Word for her.  We’ve been going back and forth.  We’re finally done and when it was formatted, there were some differences.  Instead of a 2 columns with 3 bullets, I had 1 column with 4 bullets and 1 column with 2 bullets.  Some words weren’t in bold.  My page break is different so the 2nd page looks odd.

She sent me a PDF file of the Word document and it looks fine.  Almost all companies use Word and these minor things will make my resume look oddly formatted.  I don’t know if buying Office for Mac will fix this.  But right now, I’m pulling my hair out.  I’m going bald too but that’s another story.