Need proof?

Photo by Benoit Debaix on Unsplash

The cushy, comfortable life of the public servant has become one of society’s most enduring clichés. Defined benefit pensions, generous health and dental plans, and plentiful paid holidays sound like a workers paradise. That layoffs and job losses in the public sector are rare only reinforces the stereotype.

The government of any country is always among its largest employer groups. If you rise to the top of your field in a sector where the government is the dominant service provider, you will eventually become a public servant. …


At 84 Charing Cross Road

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

The age of advanced communication technology has given us much. In doing so, it has made staying in touch easier, cheaper and faster. But as with every such change, some of our culture is incrementally lost. Convenience has costs, some of which are incalculable. The quality of our cursive writing speaks painfully to this.

When you offer written condolences about the loss of a loved one, do you dare do so over e-mail or text or, God forbid, social media? Doing so seems cheap and tacky compared to the bygone world of personal letter writing. …


In these litigious times

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If you’ve been on the blogosphere longer than a nanosecond, you know that someone is sure to be offended by your post. In these litigious times, a blogger cannot be too careful in an era when a strong gust of wind or use of quotation marks can bring on a trigger warning and related accusation followed by a legal challenge.

With this in mind, I prepared the following disclaimer kit to serve as an essential tool in the life of a content creator. As we all blog from our respective jurisdictions, writers are encouraged to consult their own legal advisors…


Your key to writing productivity

workstation desktop
workstation desktop
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If there’s one common piece of advice for making it on Medium, it is to write and publish more. While full time writers advise publishing twenty or more articles a month, that kind of production is a tall order for those of us with one foot still in the day job world.

It isn’t for a lack of things to write about, either. If you are on this platform you likely have a deep desire to write and have no challenges finding subject matter. All of us have writing ideas that fall under different categories of writing difficulty or laboriousness.


HOCKEY HISTORY

That sparked a political revolution

Canadiens logo at Place Bell
Canadiens logo at Place Bell
Photo by Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash

Before expansion, before helmets, facemasks, and superstar salaries, professional hockey was a rough and tumble sport. In the 1950s, the National Hockey League consisted of just the original six teams: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks, and Montréal Canadiens. Long before free agency, when a player joined an original six team, it implied a lifetime relationship.

Because of the cultural predominance of hockey in Canada where virtually every boy played the sport, the league was almost entirely composed of Canadians. As the best players were developed in their backyards, Montréal and Toronto…


What the Cities, Suburbs, and Rurals have in common

Photo by Braden Egli on Unsplash

In the last few years of my father’s working life, my parents bought and moved to a rural property after my siblings and I moved away. It was on several acres of wooded land with lake access. It was a 45-minute drive to the town of 15,000 where my Dad’s last working years as a legal aid lawyer played out.

As the geographical distance between my parents and me grew larger, our visits became less frequent. Eventually, they dwindled to once a year or every two years. This was not due to any fractured relationship but to the cost of…


Time to ramp up those resumes

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Content Millwright

The world of online content creation requires a disciplined mind to keep these platforms functioning. Think of this job as the fore(wo)man of the internet. Given the plethora of online expertise that overflows like so much miasma, your interior decorating and Lean Manufacturing skills are needed to bring order to this chaos. That beeping sound is the truck backing up with another metric ton of articles on How to Make $1000 this month.

Ethical Vacuum Repair

George Carlin once said, “My slogan is Always Have a Good Motto”. Or was it the reverse? Your job is to find noble sounding mission statements and…


Just by following the money

pets on ironing board
pets on ironing board
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

My introduction to people’s preference for animals over humans began in my family. My grandfather grew up on a farm in Alberta, Canada and it made him an avowed animal lover. In our visits, he and my grandmother were attentive but not as much as they were to their beloved Maltese dogs, Lady and Mitzi.

On these visits, my grandparents’ physical affection for us was cursory and non-demonstrative compared to that reserved for Lady and Mitzi. No effort was too great to please them including cooking steak and dressing them up in ribbons and bonnets. My parents joked that they…


The Tragedies of Kamloops and London have shattered our self-image.

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

The Canadian education system has done a good job of hiding the cultural genocide of indigenous people that went into the nation’s founding. Hidden away on reserves, we were told inklings about social problems but as the affected populations were segregated away from society, they may as well have happened in another country.

The public inquiry into MMIWG (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls) exposed societal apathy to the families of missing women and girls. The framing of the inquiry was made to look limited and localized, germane only to the respective communities and their relationships with the legal…


And what I seek from literature

bookshelf
bookshelf
Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

I have written before about how one of the first authors I was ever drawn to was Jerzy Kosinski. One aspect that kept me coming back to his work was that of the protagonist persevering in deadly circumstances, using his wits to survive. While I never aspired to a life as dangerous as Kosinski’s characters in The Painted Bird or Blind Date, the notion that books like his could teach me how to navigate my life circumstances began to take shape.

My next author of choice in the quest for literary knowledge was Hermann Hesse. His books reflected a quest…

Stuart Grant

disparate parts coalescing toward a greater meaning in the pursuit of a fully realized life

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