Should we keep wearing masks after the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic is over?

After almost two years of wearing masks in public, are we ready to ditch the mask? There are some compelling reasons not to.

The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic struck North America like a freight train in March 2020. We saw it coming, yet we were embarrassingly unprepared. In May 2020, despite the obvious benefits of wearing a mask during a respiratory pandemic, I was frustrated that the authorities were still poo-pooing masks.

Close everything down and send the economy plummeting? Sure, why not?

Wear masks that are only a minor inconvenience? Not a chance. [Read more…]

Room combinations – more space for less money

You get more house for your money when you combine rooms. Here are a few ways to do that.

Home shows on TV encourage us to dream big and imagine that we can have it all. The modern home concept in North America is to have a room for everything. That is, a single room for each purpose.

In fact, we often see several rooms for a single purpose on these shows. This is especially true with bathrooms. There’s the main bathroom, the master suite bathroom, the ensuite bathroom and the other bathroom.  How many bathrooms does one house need? [Read more…]

Aging Gracefully (You’re How Old?!?)

Aging gracefully is a widespread self-esteem challenge. Age is not something to hide; it is something to be proud of.

“Well, Happy Birthday! How old are you anyway?”

Wear your years with pride

“Oh, I’m just 29 … again.”

It’s a harmless game, denying our age, right? We play sensitive about our age as we get older, as we get further away from birth and closer to death. It’s just a way to share our unease of growing older with people around us. Ah … aging gracefully.

Try as we might, time marches on and we get older just the same. I was reminded about this when I recently read that we are now seven million years old. That’s at least a million years older than we were just one year ago.

Of course, that does not mean you or I personally aged a million years in the past 365 days. That would be taking the term “personal growth” or “aging”, gracefully or otherwise, too far. It would be either a b-rated horror movie or the phenomenal work of a genius. In fact, an early human skull found in the Sahara Desert is 7 million years old, pushing “the start of human evolution back at least another million years.”

READ ALSO: Aging gracefully

For you and me, age is important. Denying one’s age, or even being sensitive about it, can be disabling to many of us. Our years, our lines, our scars are part of who we are. They should be a matter of comfort and pride and even our joy. Happiness eludes us when we feel embarrassed, guilty, or even shy about any part of who we are.

Aging gracefully is a matter of self-esteem

What’s at stake here? Our happiness. Our self-esteem. Our zest and sense of daily joy. Our life satisfaction.

Life is for learningIt’s time for each of us to take pride again in everything we are. Try saying something like this: “I am pushing 40 (or whatever age applies to you). I have lived 40 years of happiness. I have survived 40 years of challenges. I have experienced 40 years of personal growth. I have learned so many life lessons from 40 trips around the sun. (I have much more to learn, so God, please let me live another 40!) I am aging gracefully. I have thrived, mostly, during 40 years. And I am proud of every one of those years.”

Once upon a time, the elders of the village were revered. They bore both knowledge and wisdom. Now we settle for just knowledge. The elders carried traditions down from generations. Now we just create “new traditions” (oxymoron alert!). The elders were our leaders. Now we downsize them.

Youth has its own beauty, its own advantages, its own joy, its own reasons to be admired. So, too, does middle age. In fact, every age is important and every age is beautiful. How old are you right now? (Really, I don’t mean “29 again”.) Whatever age you are, right now that is the perfect age for you — and the perfect age to be proud of.

Oh sure, it is sort of harmless to kid about one’s age. And many people joke about it harmlessly. But many of us also have a deep unease about our age and our aging — an unease that can hold back our self-esteem and our happiness.

Aging gracefully is another type of personal growth

I recall sitting in my pew when it suddenly dawned on me why one member of the elderly all-female choir looked so different. Every lady was at least 40 years old. Most were over 50. But the other heads were jet black or honey brown or sandy blonde or some other artificial tint. White Top Lady stood out from the crowd. She packed a loaded bundle of white hair.

It is no sin to dye one’s hair, as long as we don’t do it during the service. It is just one of many ways we adorn ourselves. But the sight of a dozen elderly ladies with hair colors impossible for their age (and perhaps even impossible for any age!) made me want to laugh out loud right there in church. (I resisted.) All the heads would probably have looked normal if White Top Lady’s hair had not been screaming out, “I’m proud of my color. I’m proud of my age. I’m not going to hide. I’m aging gracefully.”

It’s time to be proud of everything about ourselves, including our age. So to everybody aging gracefully out there, “Happy Seven Millionth!”

READ ALSO: Boost your self-esteem

READ ALSO: Easy self-esteem quiz

Work is where the WIFI is (with LogMeIn)

Once upon a time, nobody had much flexibility.  But with mobile technology, suddenly our lives have opened up to numerous possibilities.  I used LogMeIn to work remotely for a week, but this is not quite a “review” in the traditional sense.

Last week I was working remotely.  But I was in fact working at home.  How could this be?

Did you see the movie Avatar?  Jake Sully walked among the Na’vi, but his blue body was only an avatar.  His real body was back at the station.

Did you see The Matrix? Neo walked about in what he thought was the real world, but in fact was a simulation of the real world – the Matrix.

As it turns out, my wife had to go out of town on business for a week.  That left me to drive my daughter to school in Ottawa, and back home again after school, since she normally commutes with my wife.  No problem, I can drive her into the city and pull an Avatar.  Technology makes me and my life mobile, flexible.

Me, the Avatar

I spent the week at a library in Ottawa.  That’s where my physical body was.  But whatever I typed onto my laptop was being replicated 40 miles away at my main desktop PC.  I had complete control of my PC from a remote location through  And all I needed was WIFI.

Tweet this quote: “Technology makes me and my life mobile, flexible.”

Early morning, I did not have access to WIFI.  But I did have access to an Internet-connected computer.

Remote Office

Yes, it does look like a duct-tape office, and yes it was excruciatingly slow, for four reasons:

  1. Old computer, perhaps
  2. Not the highest speed connectivity, I suspect.
  3. I was forced to use Internet Explorer
  4. There is actually some lag time when working remotely.

Fortunately, by mid-morning I was able to enter the library….

Cubicle at the library

Then I could use:

  1. My own laptop
  2. WIFI.
  3. Firefox
  4. There was still some lag time when working remotely.

Lag time does get frustrating, especially when scrolling.  It’s not just the impatience – although there is that – it’s also the clicking on something, only to have the page scroll out of under the cursor and you end up clicking on the wrong thing.

Aside from the lag time, there were a couple other inconveniences working remotely.  Because I have a nice sized screen on my desktop, the screen resolution did not render perfectly.  Periods and commas tended to disappear, and the slightly fuzzy text did mean I had to give my eyes more frequent breaks than usual.

One additional inconvenience is that if either computer, my laptop or my desktop, loses Internet connectivity even for a moment, the connection is broken and I need to log in again.  This did happen once or twice each day.  Not a big deal, I suppose.

Big deal! Technology means flexibility

What was a big deal, however, was that my wife was out of town, so my daughter could not commute to her school in the city with her. What was a big deal was that I was able to drive her to the city and still get a reasonably productive work day in.

All in all, I would give my LogMeIn experience B+.  I have no way of measuring it compared to other computer remote control services.  I don’t think the issues I have mentioned are within any service to control. So this is not so much a review of LogMeIn, as it is my rating of playing the role of avatar.

Yes, there are some inconveniences.  But when your business is sole proprietorship and there is nobody back at the “office” holding down the fort, it makes life a whole lot more flexible.

And there are worse places to work out of than the public library.

Ottawa Public Library - St. Laurent

Three Tips for Moving Past Bachelor Status

Ready for a committed relationship?  The time to prepare is before you find the woman you want for a wife.  Here are some quick tips to start you preparing to make that leap from bachelorhood.

Of course there are some perks for remaining a bachelor all your life, but there are also several perks that come with commitment or marriage. One of the top reasons why many men choose not to get married or never progress toward marriage, even though they may want to, is because they are afraid of commitment.

Although it may be nice to be able to do what you want to do whenever you want without any kind of strings attached, going through life as a single male without any kind of serious commitment to someone else can be a very lonely road, and once you find the woman you’re looking for, it may be difficult to drop some of your old habits. If you are hoping to move past singlehood or if you and now your future by following the simple tips listed below:

Sweep Her Off Her FeetTip #1: Treat Women with Respect

If you have found a woman with which you can experience a truly committed relationship, you need to start by treating her with respect. Not only should you treat potential partners with respect by complementing them, opening doors for them, genuinely caring about them, and doing other things to show them that you value them as an individual, consider buying that special someone a promise ring to show you truly cherish the relationship. Take a look via to get more ideas.

Tip #2: Clean Up Your Act to get more ideas.

Some men believe that they can continue doing what they have been doing for the last 10 years as a bachelor and that they will suddenly find a woman who will come running into their arms. Although this may be the case in some situations, it is important to examine yourself and see what you can do to become a better future husband and father.

  • Are you furthering your education or progressing toward a successful career?
  • Do you keep your living space clean and organized?
  • Do you strive to stay healthy by exercising, eating nutritious foods, not smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption?

By cleaning up your act, you are more likely to find someone who wants to be your lifelong partner.

Tip #3: Be Willing to Expose Your Vulnerable Side

Another large barrier that many bachelors struggle to overcome is the inability to expose their vulnerable side to others. Many men prefer to be perceived by others as macho and without weakness. One of the surest ways to make an emotional connection with others is by allowing them to see that you are capable of truly loving them, even if it means getting hurt sometimes.

Once you feel comfortable with someone that you see marriage potential with, be sure to break down any walls that you have built around yourself so that they can see your soft side.  You will find that lasting relationships are built when you and your partner are able to give freely of yourselves without holding anything back.

After you have entered a committed relationship with your partner, you can work to move your relationship to the next level by showing your dedication with a marriage proposal. A bridal ring symbolizes your commitment to your partner. Whether the ring comes with dozens of diamonds or it is a simple band, it will show your partner that you are committed to leaving your past life of singlehood and forming a new life together.

My Book Contains “No Artificial Growth Hormones” (Even if it is not on the New York Times bestseller list)

I don’t usually get too excited about what I read in the news. After all, what can I do about it? But one item I recently saw made me jump up out of my chair.

I rushed over to my clever lawyer’s office.

“Look at this!” I proclaimed as I burst into his office.

Clever Lawyer said nothing. His client echoed his words with her ruby red lips. [Read more…]