The Epistle of Q — Chapter Thirteen

Q #1
What should one say after a series of flights including transborder & some late, when one arrives home on time and the luggage gets there at the same time?

People are always making fun of Air Canada — such slogans as “we’re not happy until you’re not happy” come to mind. Yet I keep finding the airline one of the best to travel on and this last trip was no exception. Due to weather issues on the west coast, our plane was late arriving at PHX. Nevertheless the ground crew got us all on board as quickly as possible and the in-flight crew not only did a good job serving everyone throughout the flight, but the cockpit folks made up some time so when we landed we still had about half-an-hour to get through customs and then to the next flight. Nexus helps for sure, and at YVR there is now a direct access to domestic connections (although we were misguided by an airport host and ended up outside security again!!). When we all arrived at YYF, the winds were very strong coming off Skaha Lake yet the pilot put the plane down gently and by the time I had the SUV going and moved it around to the terminal — there was the luggage too. So thank you Air Canada. Glad you are professional and glad you still come in to YYF.

Q #2
Why do I try to immediately get back into some form of routine after a trip even though I am not much of a routine person? Is it some deeply ingrained Presbyterian work ethic that prompts me to try to gear up quickly after even a short vacation break, so as not to seem lazy?

The trip to PHX was more than delightful. It was also relaxing and fun. Arriving back on Tuesday evening I immediately made plans to go skiing the next day. The weather was somewhat better although there wasn’t much new snow so parts of the hill are getting close to the rock base. Yet there were lots of good runs to be had and at the end of the session I had managed to ski eleven runs which is the most for any day this year. I almost felt that I was back at work — a real sense of accomplishment.

Not to be content, my good friend Sandy and I then went out to a special charity group we’ve joined: “100 men”. We meet once each season and it costs us $100 each time plus usually $5 for each glass of wine we sip. We then listen to three not-for-profit groups make a presentation on why we should support them. This time it was Special Olympics, Historical Society and Healthy Communities. — all very interesting and certainly deserving of support. After all the speeches (which are restricted to five minutes) we then deposit our token in one of three receptacles indicating which group should receive the prime support. The way it works: the group with the most chips gets 80% of the funds while the other two each get 10%. At the moment there are 62 men in the group so the pot is $6,200!! The Special Olympics garnered the most interest and left with almost $5K. It was a friendly evening with lots of time to chat with other members and I think it shouldn’t take too long to get to the 100 members which is our overall target.

Today was a non-ski day as there were a tonne of appointments and events to deal with. To make sure that I was awake for them all, I went to the gym at 5:00 a.m. for a workout on the machines. Except for a couple of people who insisted on not following the circuit, it was a positive session and I felt fairly pumped for the day. Then I returned to the house as the telephone company was returning to make sure that all the outlets and connections were working properly. This was followed by an audio technician who came to hook up the sound system in the library as well as hang a TV there as well. After some preliminary assessments it was determined a major install would be required, including some changes in equipment as well as some alterations to wiring — thus a second visit has been scheduled for one week hence. Then it was a meeting with the local lawyer — being back in BC means that wills and appointments of executors, etc. need to be updated! From there it was off to the Kitchen Stove film club to watch Margarite, a rather intriguing film about a rich woman who couldn’t sing but did so for charity-related money-raising events (often to the sarcastic delight of her high-society friends). It was a sad story in many ways but very well acted. It again seemed like a working session as it challenged me to re-think aspects of the book on ethics & leadership I am working on. After this TIFF-like event, it was off to a locally produced musical evening — it wasn’t so much a musical, as a series of songs (and some dances) from a number of different musicals. This format was adopted last year by the organization that stages an annual production. I liked it better than the previous year’s Sweeny Todd. But this year seemed to have less focus — there was some very good singing, the back-up musicians were excellent and most of the performers have been on stage before — just didn’t connect as well as in the past with me at least. At the same time it is good to see amateur talent take the risk, get on stage and perform — the younger kids in the show are gaining valuable self-confidence which will stand them in good staid as they grow into adulthood.

Q #3
What will begin to happen to the USA, and then North America, and then the world as we move through Inauguration Day?

This may be the most fascinating few months in the 21st Century. For sure it should be a real wake-up call to all the political elites in Canada that it is time to get beyond town hall gatherings, selfie-parades, and talk shows and start to really connect again with the disaffected, who now seem to outnumber every other segment of society. Just note the emergence in Canada of another showman who wants to be Prime Minister. Ironically in the House of Commons are two very astute and valuable leaders neither of whom their parties want for the long term. Watching the US situation unfold may give us some real insights into the impact of populism in the North American context. Stay tuned!!

There are doubtless more questions to be asked, but I’m still reeling from the heavy influence of music throughout my day and my brain likely needs a rest from all the developmental stimuli it received today. So I’ll leave it for them moment.