Thursday, November 25, 2004

E-Scam. . .

The General Director of Medeba (who I like to call Bruce, much less words) showed me an e-mail he got today. It was an e-mail from E-Bay that was informing him that they need his updated debit and credit card numbers in order to keep up his E-Bay account. I'd say that already sounds like a pretty fishy request. To add to the fishy situation, Bruce doesn't even have an E-Bay account. Yikes!

If you haven't caught on, the point of the story is the e-mail was a complete scam. The e-mail had links to Ebay and even had a pretty Ebay logo. Yet, it wasn't from Ebay. Rather some jerk over in Europe who would like nothing more than to spend some poor saps money. Maybe use it to buy a Christmas gift off of Ebay???

It's just another sign to not give out your Credit Card number very easily. Even when you may think it is to a trusted source. The internet can be a very scary beast. It's disturbing how easy it is to be suckered out of your money. I almost miss the days when I guy would just bump you upside the head and steal your wallet. At least than, you have a cool bump to impress the ladies.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pain of Disappointment. . .

I'm a people person. Moreso, I am a people pleaser. My day is a whole lot cheerier when I know I've left a smile on the face of those I was with. I like it when people are happy. Generally, I feel good when I know when those around me are well. It's who I am and who I will probably always be.

My job usually works with that personality. My main goal as Guest Group Coordinator is to serve the group and make sure they have a lovely stay. When I'm booking groups, I tend to be able to make them rather happy when I have spot for them to take. Most of time, it's a pretty nice fit with my motto. Unfortunately, I somtimes need to be the bad guy. I need to look at the business side of things over the people side of things. As I'm sure you can guess, this part of the job doesn't want to make me do back flips.

Today, I got the displeasure of having such a situation. Unfortunately, this weekend we have a group that is set to bring in a much smaller amount of people than they had intended to bring. I have a contract that states they promise to pay for a certian amount of people. An amount of people that is very unlikely to be able to come considering it is two days before their arrival. The most vile part of this whole deal is that this group's booking caused another possible group to not come this weekend. Not only do I have a pitifully small amount of people coming but I also lost out on having another possible group in here at the same time. Instead, Medeba is stuck with the inenvitable possibility of losing money. Or I get the grand joy of telling a group they need to pay an amount of money which is far more than the amount of people they have coming. Not a fun scenerio. An opportunity to definitely disappiont a few people.

Maybe I can grow to love to disappoint people??? I mean, I once really disliked squash. Now, I think squash is a very important food staple to your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Then again, I also used to hate liver and I'll still pass on that. No thanks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Super Size Me. . .

On Sunday, I caught probably about an hours worth of the film Super Size Me. As a rule, I tend to doze off with anything that seems borderline to the reality entertainment phenemonon. But this film was actually pretty entertaining and not really comparable to the tripe that litters the airwaves. I'm sure that line just upset about 80% of my readership. Oh well, what do I know because I don't even have cable. This wasn't meant to be a rant against reality television (despite my major dislike for it) but rather an endorsement for Super Size Me.

I didn't see the whole film but I'm slightly motivated to go out and buy it if I can find a cheapie copy which might be unlikely for a new release. Of course, I'm always willing to suck up my pride and except a gift. Back to my opinion on the film, what I saw of it was pretty fascinating. It was also a fairly sad commentary of where our soceity is going health wise. I got to day 22 in the film, it was pretty scary the damage that McDonalds had done to him in such a small period. I never thought that a full month of just McDonald's was a smart health choice but it's pretty scary to see how hamrful it could be. The fact that after about a week his body was addicted to the food and it was providing highs when he ate it and lows when he wasn't eating it. The most disturbing thing was what the food ended up doing to his liver. Yikes! I think the doctor was saying the liver had the same amount of damage done to it that an alcholic would do to his liver. Just really disturbing stuff.

On a plus side, I think North America is waking up and beginning to get back on the health food craze. I'm definitely not one to start endorsing Nutri-Sweet because I don't actually think that is all that great for you. But banning things like pop and chocolate bars from schools can't be a bad thing. I do feel that just concentrating on what we eat is really losing the whole point. If we want to be a healthier Continent than we need to start becoming more active. Exercise needs to be a regular thing in our daily ritual. I know that skipping exercise is something I'm guilty of. I spend most of my day in front of a computer and don't really do a whole lot more outside of work. It's bad. Seriously, a healthy style of living can start with what we eat but also needs to he helped out with an active style of living.

Another scary thing I got out of Super Size Me, an elementary grade only had 2 hours of gym a week. Yikes! You got to get the kids more active than that. I know learning is important but physical health is major too. I'd think that at least 5 hours of gym a week would be a good thing to implement into an elementary school. Then again, it may depend what other things they do throughout the day and how long their recess periods are.

Definitely a movie that got me thinking. I highly recommend all to check it out if you have the opportunity. This is coming from someone who hasn't even had the chance to see the entire thing. I guess, I'll skip out on the Big Mac tonight.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Till Death Do Us Part or When We Get Bored. . .

First things first, the reason for the week long absence was that I was back home in my old stomping ground of Brantford. My dear, close, personal friend was about to embark on a truly amazing adventure because as of Saturday he started his life with his beautiful wife. It was a sheer pleasure to be the best man for this special occasion. It was quite moving to see the tears in his eyes while he watched his beatiful bride walk down the aisle. I could feel the true love he had for her. I've said it many times on Saturday but I will now say it in blog form, Congratulations Tim and Carolyn!

I'm sincere in all I typed up there. As happy as I was for the day of my friend's wedding, I've also heard some really sad news lately. Over the last few months, I've been informed of the end of several marriages. One marriage is a little over a year old and another marriage invovled children in the mix. That is a sobering thought. A very sad thought. An even sadder thought when you realize all these marriages are of Christian couples. Couples that should know the sanctity of marriage. As Christians, we are supposed to know how sacred that bond is and how only death should be the reason it ends. But it isn't. It takes much less to end a marriage.

Boredom. Or losing the loving feeling. Or finding someone else who makes one feel so much better. Or realizing the person isn't who one dreamt them to be. Or maybe the person was exactly who one thought they were but one was hoping they'd magically change after the wedding day. Something out of a fairy tale, where your pumpkin is now a chariot. Unfortunately, real life works more like when the clock strikes midnight and everything turns back to reality. The love of one's life turns out to be a smelly rat.

A lot is put into the love feelings. People really like warm fuzzies. People really like to have a heavy attraction to someone. But what does one do when that is all over??? What happens when the feelings start to fade? The person one wakes up to just ends up being the norm rather than an adventure? What do we do then?

Love is work. The love of the movies is a fantasy. The feelings that make one feel like they are flying or on top of the world is a fantasy too. They aren't real. Those feelings don't last. Those feelings might not even mean this is the person one is to be with. I've heard that it is more important to like someone than love someone. Marriage has a better chance to work if the person is a friend rather than a lover.

So, are we to give up on the magic feelings? Is there to be no romance? There is one thing I know. My parents love each other more now than they did when they got married. I know my parents are madly in love. My parents still go out on weekend dates. I think that is a pretty impressive thing for people who have been married for 27 plus years. I obviously believe that passion and love and feelings can be in marriage.

It takes work. It takes work to keep love and feelings in a marriage. Sadly, it seems soceity doesn't want to take work. They would rather start over and find someone new. That is such a sad thing. Such a horrible example for the children that are growing up watching there parents. Nothing is sadder than seeing a loveless marriage. Maybe it happend because the couple rushed into marriage. They let feelings dictate everything. Unfortunately, marriage is real and it can't be some fantasy.

I believe there can be magic in marriage. I also believe people need to take marriage more seriously. Not to rush into it. Once they are in marriage, they take there wedding vows seriously. That they are with their mate through sickness, poorness and bad times. They truly love the person even when they don't want to. Because than, the real magic can begin.

That's your rant on marriage from a guy whose only taste of it is from observation. But I've had one of the greatest couples to observe when I was growing up. Two people who still truly love each other.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Boo On Technology. . .

You ever have one of those times where you have really good intentions that you're actually about to fulfill until nasty old fate steps in to squash it? A few days ago, I decided that for the next few days I would check my e-mail every single day. You may not think that is a tremendous feat but for a guy who can get distracted to the point that he forgets that he is hungry I'd say it isn't a bad goal. I have a slight distraction problem. It results in me very often getting side tracked from daily tasks like checking up on the ol' inbox. Besides this minor flaw, I have been able to be quite studious in the daily checking of e-mail for the last few days. Today, fate just wasn't on my side. For whatever reason, Hotmail has decided that I should not check my e-mail today. Despite spending the last 40 minutes trying to gain access to my inbox, I have not been able to enjoy the pleasure of seeing awaiting mail.

If you are someone who has typed me an e-mail over the last 24 hours than please note your letter is safely locked away in my inbox. Nobody will harm an electronic hair on it's little e-head. Not even me.

Argh.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Not The Best Thing To Tell A Potential Guest. . .

I'm on the phone today with a Youth Pastor about a potential booking of a retreat here in the winter. Things are going really well. I've got all the important information and he is ready to make everything official. He want to have a retreat hosted at Medeba and Medeba wants to host the retreat for him (as long as he is ready to pay the $99 per person for the experience). The Youth Pastor is excited about the retreat happening and the phone conversation is going really well. So, how do I decide to end this very important conversation (because at Medeba all our potential guests are so valued)? Simple, "I'm sorry I need to go because the camp is burning down!" Probably didn't get him too excited about coming here anymore.

Luckily, the camp didn't burn down. But we did get a nice visit by the local volunteer firemen. You see, the annual wood burning in the pit got a little carried away. The burning decided it would like to do some of it's thing outside of the said pit. Luckily, the super men that are the Medeba Maintenence crew was all over it like stink is on a dirty monkey. The wild fire was able to be contained back within the pit.

In other news, things got burnt in the pit a lot faster this year.

Oh, as for my potential guest, I was able to call him back and let him know he still has a camp to come to this winter. He was relieved.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

27 Years Young. . .

November 13th has just passed and as is tradition with that date I just got a little older. I have to admit I can't believe I'm in the late 20's now. I think I'm supposed to be all mature and settled now. I know people this age have homes, children, careers and slippers. I do have a credit card even if it claims the owner's name is Christophe. I really need to find that guy and give him his card back. He'd have better use for it anyway. Not a lot of need for spending in the bubble that is Medeba.

I'm sure a good birthday rant is supposed to be all philosphy and reflective. Instead, I'l just remark on how cool it was to have cake and ice cream again on my birthday. Escpecially the ice cream since I've been on a drought of that recently. Here's to year 27, I'm excited to see what it will provide.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Strike Out. . .

As a child, I was a huge baseball fan. I collected the cards. I read all the stats. I kept a record of how well my favourite players were doing. Going to the Exhibition Stadium (yes, I'm that old) was a really big event for me. In the summer, I'd occasionally attempt something vaguely considered playing baseball with my friends (the unathletically blessed can only do something that resembles playing). Other times, I was making a Major League Baseball season with one of my friends on the old Sega Master System. This was before the high tech games now, so we had to record all our own stats and our own league standings. Yes, that made us geeks, but we didn't care. Because we both really liked baseball.

I don't even know who won the World Series this year. I didn't watch a single game. The saddest part, I don't care at all. My childhood past time is officially dead. It has been dead ever since the strike of '95. In 1995, Major League Baseball was heading towards one of its best seasons ever. The Montreal Expos were on the verge of being the breakthrough team of the decade. Then greed got in the way and a strike stopped the World Series from happening. It's sad that two World Wars couldn't stop the World Series but the need for money sure can.

This year it looks like a strike will stop the Stanley Cup from coming about. The older I get, the more bitter I become towards professional sports. It is becoming a money game. It's becoming about greed. It gets harder and harder to just sit down and enjoy the sports anymore.

Times like this, I wish I could just be a boy again.

Friday, November 05, 2004

A sign I'm not a kid anymore. . .

Here I am, in a job that could safely be said is a career. Now if I decide to make it one is besides the point, the fact is that it could be a long term career. It's even got a big, official sounding title. Guest Group Coordinator. I don't think it gets me a free dinner at any fine dining establishements and it's probably not a big impresser at social gatherings but it's a title nonetheless. It just happens to be my title.

I've got myself a credit card now too. Sure, the card says that my name is Christophe but I'm still pretty sure it's mine. As a kid, a credit card was magical wonder that only big people got to play with. Gues this makes me a big person.

Today, I was reviewing my benefits that come with my job. I was looking over my life insurance. Life Insurance??? Man, now only a few years ago I was pretty sure that was something only old people worrried about. Guess this makes me an old person.

Not a kid anymore. A sombering thought. I definitely didn't turn out the way I had imagined when I was younger. I also imagined I'd be living on Mars and battling evil toxic terrors. So, maybe this route isn't so bad.

I've grown up. Notice I didn't throw in the word mature. I've aged. As I sit in my own personal office, I realize I'm not 16 years old anymore. Hmmm. . . maybe I'll go play some video games now.

Seriously, Frank isn't me. . .

So, in my last post I made it clear that Frank was not me. I wasn't hinting at it being me. Nor did I want you to think that he was me. Yet everyone and their mother (and a few people's dogs) seems to think that Frank is me. Let's look at the differences and see for ourselves.

Frank has red curly hair
Chris is losing his hair

Frank likes ABBA
Chris thinks ABBA is the cause of hair loss

Frank collects Fungi as a hobby
Chris is a fun guy

Frank likes a girl named Lacey
Chris likes bowls of ice cream

Just to really prove the point that Frank is not me. I will give you the word for word conversation between Frank and the girl of his dreams, Lacey where he tried to confess his feelings.

Frank: Uh. . . um. . . Hi?
Lacey; Hello, Frank. How are you today?
Frank: Well. . . uh. . . did you ever. . . hmm. . see that movie with that guy?
Lacey: The movie with the guy?
Frank: Yeah, you seem to know the one. Wow, isn't amazing how we connect in that way.
Lacey: Wha?
Frank: I know, just makes you go WOW! We're just so close and such great friends.
Lacey: I'm lost.
Frank: But we are lost together.
Lacey: Huh?
Frank: Hmm. . . so. . . do you ever wonder why. . . uh. . . like. . . since we are so close. . . and lost together. . . uh. . .us. . .um. . . date?
Lacey: November 5th
Frank: Oi (Frank faints)

See, I can't be Frank. I'm so much smoother with the ladies. It takes me at least 5 more minutes until I faint. There you have it, Chris is not Frank. Frank is not Chris. Just for Candice, no Frank isn't a pirate. Yes, Pirates have loot but where do you think they plunder it from? That's right, from poor old Frank.