Personal Privacy – Lost at Sea

If you are a regular reader of this BLOG, you may have read some of this before, if not, please pay attention.

Our Consultancy enjoys a Security and Privacy Practice, so we tend to speak with some of the brightest and most knowledgeable in the industry, including individuals from the Government.


What we are increasingly hearing is absolutely terrifying, as most of the public are allowing a total invasion of their privacy and personal data with absolutely NO thought as to the consequences.

Our Confidential Information is no longer Confidential, and YOU are at FAULT.

How many times have you filled in something on-line because it was easy?? ….SO easy, that you did NOT read the waiver, and agreed with everything.
Yes, you AGREED to have the recipient of the form SHARE all your confidential information, and you have absolutely no idea who has received it, or what they are doing with it.

So, when you filled in the form to look for the best CREDIT card, your information was shopped to a dozen companies, and shared with numerous credit agencies.

When you went online to improve your credit score, your information was sold.

When you filled in the form on-line with all your CONFIDENTIAL information for a company to find you the most competitive MORTGAGE rates, your information was shopped to a dozen companies.

When you filled in an on-line form for the best life insurance, all your CONFIDENTIAL information was shopped to a dozen companies without your knowledge.

When you fill in on-line surveys, your information is SOLD….yes, you are providing free information for their analytics department to sell. YOU are the product.

When you decided you needed to be fast tracked through the airport, and gave your CONFIDENTIAL information, retina scan and fingerprints, this information is shared INTERNATIONALLY, ever heard of INTERPOL??

Certain credit card companies insist on having your fingerprint, claiming it is to protect YOU, it is NOT. They are amassing ALL your personal data.

Every time you add someone on Facebook, Linkedin, and ‘LIKE” something, that information is sold, but worse, companies like the former Cambridge Analytica and others are able to use it to analyze your life style and friends, because you thought it would be cool to add your education, date of birth, family members and other personal information.
Unfortunately, if CSIS or the FBI think you or one of your friends or family are a criminal, ALL your contacts are reviewed due to guilt by association.
NONE of whom consented to this invasion of their privacy.

When you fill in a CREDIT card application, you are asked for the names of relatives who do not live with you, as well as friends.
Guess what!! If you become a DEAD BEAT, their credit scores drop through association. Yup. Not a joke.
Once again, if you put the name of someone on your form without their approval, you just damaged THEIR credit without their knowledge.

Then we get to my real favourite……DNA tests…….are you KIDDING me?? You have to be INSANE to provide this.

The Government has been itching to gather the DNA of the entire population for years, and you are PAYING for it??
Now, let me mention, once again, that ALL YOUR RELATIVES have their DNA exposed WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT by you doing this. Your uncles, children, their unborn children, shall I continue…..Seriously???

Increasingly there are CCTV cameras throughout cities, roads, highways, stores…….your EVERY movement is recorded. Face recognition is everywhere, now there is software to record your GAIT. … yes, the way you walk combined with your face….if you have a limp, favour a foot, carry your head slightly sideways…..

Voice recognition software is increasingly being used as an identifier..

Using your DEBIT card for EVERYTHING??? Once again, if you ever encounter financial difficulties, you can be SHUT DOWN in 2 seconds with NO ACCESS to cash. Your lifestyle can be TOTALLY monitored through your charges, from date and time, location, to choice of product, and stores.

Have you ever heard of the government doing lifestyle audits?? You have just provided all the information they seek….

Please do not insult my intelligence and say you have nothing to hide. Losing your identity is NOT about having something to hide, it is about companies and the Government knowing how much money you earn, how much you have, what are your assets, (see above) and where they are, who your friends and family are, and whether or not they are criminals. Please do not tell me how your life is an ‘OPEN BOOK’ , when confronted with some of this information, the most ‘OPEN’ books I know turn beet red and stop talking.

When is the last time you cleaned your “COOKIES” never??? Well, hurry up and do it, and make it a regular event.

The latest in the endless ways to remove any vestige of privacy, is airports and check-ins wanting to use Facial Recognition, presumably to make things ‘easier’…..
Then there is the famous ‘BODY SCAN” where they use X-Ray technology to take a total body photograph, which means every bump, ounce of fat, is exposed for the world to see, and if you think for a moment that they will delete it, think again.

There is a certain Insurance Company which now insists that policy holders wear a FitBit.

There is another Insurance Company pushing black box technology to ‘help you drive safely’ , seriously???

Purchase ‘Credit Monitoring” for a mere $10 per month, supplied by, yes, you got it, the very same Credit Bureau who LOST EVERYONE’s CONFIDENTIAL DATA, with their so called ability to scan the DARK WEB, which, anyone in IT knows is a TOTAL FRAUD, as there is no way to scan the dark web, which is the point of it in the first place. ..and bragging that the software cost $1 million is the joke of the century for those of us in the industry……anything only costing $1 million is USELESS. Just the cost of TESTING will be more than that…..just saying…..

A major Hotel chain was just hacked and lost the identities of 500 MILLION CLIENTS.

22 Million identities were just lost in the US holding SECURITY CLEARANCE.

Burglar alarm companies are pushing a new system whereby you can alarm your home, open your front door, turn on your furnace, etc. from your phone……..are you mad???

Personal assistants are always ON, monitoring EVERY word spoken in your home….and you think you have privacy???

SOOO, just to summarize, you use one of these utterly INSANE burglar alarm systems, you have a personal assistant in your home which can unlock your front door and turn off the alarm, what is to stop someone recording your voice, turning off your alarm in your absence and emptying your house??? ……Using YOUR voice to do it from a phishing phone call and recording you…….hellooo…..

Similarly your bank account, which you have on your phone, which can be opened with facial recognition……..hello…….a good photograph will do……probably on your Facebook page.

Thieves are approaching people’s homes to clone the key fobs of people who have automatic keys to unlock and start the car…….theft is up 16%

EVERY TIME you agree to one of the above services, you are eroding your and everyone else’s privacy.

Your sexual preferences, religious beliefs, political views are being watched and sold along with ALL your PERSONAL DATA.

STOP saying yes.       START paying attention to this erosion, and say NO.

RESPECT!!!!

YUK! YUK! YUK!!!

Dear Reader,

this BLOG was composed BEFORE COVID, and never posted. As infections are skyrocketing, and the behaviour we see boggles the mind, I decided to make several changes and post this as a wake up call….NO, I am NOT suggesting my readers are guilty of this behaviour, what i am doing is hoping that along the way I may actually save someone’s life.

Feel free to share this with individuals who exhibit this behaviour.

The utter lack of self respect, self awareness, and respect for others, exhibited by some people is beyond dispicable.

We are certainly not all brought up the same way, but a little consideration of others goes a long way.

This week, I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness some seriously disgusting social behaviour.

Taking a shower, washing your hair, brushing your teeth, washing hands, and nails, and wearing clean clothes to visit the Doctor. I sat in a waiting room for 2 hours with a mask on my face, and from what I could ascertain, of the 50 people coming and going, only 2, yes, 2 of us had showered, washed their hair, and were wearing clean clothes, shoes, etc.

Likewise, showering, shaving, washing your hair, using deodorant, brushing your teeth, putting on clean clothes when you are going out to dinner with others. Your lack of cleanliness
Does not add to anyone’s appetite, or wish to share anything with you, quite the contrary. UGH!

Coughing openly in a crowded room. Several boxes of facial tissues were free and available. Next time, perhaps take a few instead of
Sharing your illness with the rest of us….COVID equals DEATH. HELLOOOO

Coughing into your hand, then offering it to me to shake it. Seriously??? YUK! YUK! YUK!!

Leaving behind your used, gross, discarded tissues on the table in a restaurant expecting the server to remove it.
Do you not have pockets??

A little decency would be nice.

YES, we noticed.

Clipping your nails in a public place, letting them drop on the floor…. SOO disgusting… Is it really too much trouble to remove your self to the washroom next time??

Using the toilet and not flushing, then just to add to the image, not washing your filthy hands as you exit the washroom, touching EVERYTHING
Along the way….

Walking on the sidewalk with your mobile phone glued to your face, forcing everyone to step aside for you. Whatever you are looking at
Will still be there once you reach your destination.
It is just NOT that important.

Complaining endlessly about not being invited to social gatherings, but never, ever, initiating anything yourself, or, even better,
Putting your hand in YOUR pocket and paying for the others. Perhaps for once, try picking up the telephone, initiating and PAYING
For those who have been financing you forever.

Insisting on splitting the bill evenly in a restaurant, when you have been ordering numerous cocktails, bottles of wine, and extra courses, when others have NOT…. Some of us do not drink and drive. Why should we pay for you to get drunk?? ….why should we pay for you to eat a fat lobster, an entree, a desert, when we eat a salad with a coffee?? You KNOW who I am talking about…….

Being invited to a surprise Birthday party, arriving with a lovely gift, only to be told that you are expected to contribute to a group gift, and to add insult to injury, you are given an envelope and told the minimum amount…on top of paying for a meal with wine which is equally divided amongst the number of people at the table…..

Perhaps telling people in advance would be appropriate??
Some of us were NOT brought up to bring envelopes of money, in fact I have never heard of this practice before, and found it extremely offensive….and furthermore, I DID NOT DRINK ONE DROP OF THE WINE that I was obliged to pay for…..

Hosting a party for a 25th Wedding Anniversary, receiving expensive gifts and never, ever acknowledging them …..

Returning phone calls, promptly, regardless of the reason you THINK the person has called you.
Can you read their mind??

Why on earth would they return YOUR call in your moment of need, if you have always ignored theirs???

Another charmer invited my sweetie for a birthday lunch, proceeded to order like a mad fiend, drink cocktails and wine, act like a bigshot in the restaurant, so that everyone saw him, ordered a bottle of wine even though we BOTH protested we were not drinking, then STUCK US WITH THE BILL…….

Is there something not clear about the words…..WE DO NOT WANT ALCOHOL that you don’t understand???

Clearly not enough times, as you have since been purged from my list of friends, ….. NOW do you get it???

Panhandlers who have sad stories to tell but have been on the same corner for years, wearing expensive clothes, smoking $15 packages
Of cigarettes and drinking $2.50 soft drinks, who then become aggressive when you refuse to give them your hard earned cash. Some are extremely aggressive towards women, and will actually threaten them if they do not give them money……one actually chased my secretary up Peel Street……terrified…….

The pan handler who has spent years in front of Ogilvy’s married a woman he met in Florida during the winter, and she drives him to “work” in a brand new SUV…..

The same panhandlers who disappear the day after Christmas and go to Florida for the winter, then reappear at the end of March, with a fabulous tan…..

WHY are YOU giving them money?? …are YOU going to Florida for 3 months every winter???

People on Social Media who are always insisting that you ‘SHARE’ their posts, but never, ever ‘like’ anything that you post.

It would be nice, just for once, for you to acknowledge the rest of us…you are just NOT that special……

Did you ever consider that many of us totally disagree with your views??

Going to an event, such as a Birthday party, and being TOLD that we are expected to contribute generously to YOUR charity of the week?? Seriously??

People ramming their feel good ‘charity of the week’ down your throat, and trying to guilt you into contributing.
IF and when I decide to contribute to something, it will be what I chose, NOT you. Just STOP. It is your GUILT, not mine.

Endlessly posting pictures of your child or grandchild covered in food. It is NOT cute. One is enough, 20 is RUDE. NO, it is really not cute.

Once again, THANK YOU to all who anonymously contribute to this BLOG. Some of your comments are hysterical……and much appreciated in a
World gone mad.

A Life in Lockdown

Take someone who is used to travelling up to 6 months of the year, meeting people all day long, then lock them inside their home for a year and what do you get???

A wicked case of Covid35….aaaaagh!!! my skinny jeans look at me aghast!!! To think I used to fit in them all!! They are horrified at my appearance, and shrink in horror….
(as if they weren’t tight enough)…!!!!

I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate. There is a very sweet, gentle, loving puppy who has offered her services to entertain, and is rarely more than a few feet away, providing endless kisses and love. If she could purr, she would.
Add to that an equally lovely life partner, and divine company is always close by.

Cooking is NOT my thing, Luckily having spent most of my life with one foot within the Asian community, I have learned to craft fast, healthy, tasty meals, 10 minutes from refrigerator to table.
Butternut squash Thai coconut soup, Tom Yum Seafood, Ratatouille, Mushroom Chicken, and occasionally, disgustingly rich Italian something, dripping in cheese, OK, so NOT Asian, just decadent.
A life partner who can actually follow a recipe…..(totally NOT my thing) and whips up decadent, wonderful meals.

Working from home is lovely, no traffic, no icy roads, no parking issues, but not being able to meet clients face to face and walk around is just NOT the same. Body language, facial expressions, micro expressions, eye contact, totally missing. Watching people interact with others, simply impossible.

Being doubled over in laughter, non-existent. Learning from extremely bright, extraordinarily creative executives……totally lacking.

Lots of time for contemplation and certain realizations. I see acquaintances adding Facebook friends as though those numbers actually matter. In fact, I find myself doing the exact opposite.
I have probably deleted over 40% of the people who were there…were they friends?? Acquaintances??? Taking advantage?? Or the big question…..do they actually make you laugh???

With death hovering outside the door every time you go out to do an errand due to all the selfish mask less people about, the concept of social distancing totally nonexistent, the concept of being locked in your house amplifies the desire to speak with friends who make you laugh, make you feel good, support you. People who are TRUE friends.

One such friend is in London, years have gone by, yet she answers the phone and I hear her voice booming down the line, and am instantly smiling. We speak easily for over an hour each call, endless laughter, sooo many subjects…..everything from Theatre, politics, Restaurants, food, endless……I hang up the phone, and am anxiously awaiting the next time we speak.

People complain about feeling isolated, but how many have reached out to those living alone and given them a smile?? A feeling of being less alone. A phone call is not expensive, but can have a huge impact on someone’s life. I do something utterly absurd with one friend, I send her pictures of Chelsey’s elegant toes, her bouncing, her eating poached salmon….with ridiculous subtitles. She knows we are always thinking about her, and are available instantly should she need us…..

Another British girlfriend rang up the other day, apologetic and embarrassed about her silence. But she knew she was safe, not being judged, as she described her horrific year. I told her off for not reaching out sooner. Made her promise she would call more often when she was upset.

Spend your time being kind. There is SO much evil and nastiness out there. From internet trolls to people who hate themselves and take it out on others.


Make sure you shower, wear clean, nice clothes, feel good about yourself. Read, educate yourself with all the extra time. Eat well…(well, maybe not TOO well)


Make someone laugh and feel needed.

The days won’t feel so dark.

The End of Elegance

Over the last number of years, we have witnessed a rapid decline in elegance, be it manners, dress code or living style.

Some of us remember dressing for dinner, cocktail parties, and the appropriate behaviour to go along with it. Proper polite introductions, and making guests feel welcome and included in conversations.

Spectacular table settings with elegant seating, magnificent linens, mind blowing flowers, spectacular silver, cutlery and tableware. Alternating between speaking to those on the right and left, then across the table. NO cellphoes. Remember those days??

Women for the most part, dressed appropriately, not with flouncy dresses and hooker shoes. Men wore elegant suits with crisp, white shirts, and fabulous silk ties……

In London, one continues to see formal dress codes, although today they are finally being relaxed a little. Women are increasingly wearing tuxedos and trouser suits, which noteably, I have been wearing for longer than I will admit to. Absolutely NO dresses for moi.

I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend about the lack of elegance. (yes, of course it is you!!!)… she always looks quietly elegant in a Black Yves St Laurent Suit, understated, elegant, and total simplicity.

Elegant dress and behaviour seem to be something of the past, and many of us truly miss it.

People sent ( In England, they still do…) crisp, engraved invitation cards with gold leaf borders in nice stiff envelopes. One sent back a proper RRSP card, and subsequently a Thank You card and thoughtful gift to the hostess. Over the years, I have attended some extraordinary events around the world, some with a Footman for each guest.

House decoration has experienced a similar decline, all white cheap furniture does not make for an inviting or comfortable home. Remember huge down sofas and pillows?? Thick carpets, spectacular art works, period furniture?? ….Linen and fine cotton sheets with fluffy down duvets??
Remember when table settings were breath taking?? Dollar store glasses and dishes do not really inspire…..

These days we see individuals who should know better, arrive at Vernissages in cut off pants, open toe sandals (vulgar at the best of times, this is NOT the beach) and Tshirts….. who on earth does this??

Women arrive dressed like tarts with decolletages down to the naval and hooker shoes…..do you REALLY think those tacky gladiator heels are elegant??

I was at an event a few months ago, when a Senior Partner of a Law firm arrived very late, unshaven, his clothes looked and smelled as though he had been sleeping in them, upon entering the room, his behaviour was breathtaking, pushing and shoving his way through the guests to speak with someone he deemed important. Eyes were rolling quietly at his ghastly behaviour. It did not improve.

If his personality and presence were even remotely sparkly, his conversation entertaining, it would be one thing, but he is a dour, humourless, arrogant man. Age has not been kind to him….his real personality is increasingly showing, and sweet is certainly not an adjective which is even remotely present in one’s mind to describe him……

These events are meant to be happy social gatherings, a modicum of enthusiasm and curtesy towards the attendees is expected. But then, once again, he arrived empty handed and scarfed his way through the food and alcohol being served.

Perhaps I am harsh, but I was not brought up to behave in such a callous, inconsiderate fashion.

The latest social demise appears to be Birthday celebrations. Apparently they are acceptable for children and no one else.
In the past they were celebrated with style, elegant, thoughtful gifts and cards chosen to please the recipient and often to entertain the guests.

Today, people turn up late, inappropriately dressed and empty handed. Somehow they are under the impression that their presence is sufficient.
Let me be patently CLEAR, it is NOT.
It is the height of bad behaviour, and complaining about the cost of gifts being too expensive when you are alternatively bragging about your most recent purchase is utterly classless.

To accept lovely gifts from others, and not reciprocate, take a moment and consider just how rude that is….

Last word on the subject, corner store flowers and wine, and dollar store items are not acceptable, ever.

A sad anecdote on the subject. I used to have a girlfriend who was extremely generous towards her friends, both in terms of throughtful beautiful gifts, but also generously entertaining them. Year after year I was the ONLY one attending her birthday parties who showered her with wonderful thoughtful gifts. On more than one occasion, at the end her birthday party, she would be in tears, simply not comprehending just how these women who claimed to be her ‘best friends’ could be so inherently selfish, arriving either empty handed or with only a cheap bottle of wine.
NO, none of them have financial constraints.

Vicious trolls onilne……

WHAT is with that???
Ruining someone’s reputation posting untruths which can’t be removed. I do not understand what is the point, or how one derives some pleasure from such cruelty.
Posting an endless barrage of insults and distruths about total strangers.
There is something inherently wrong with our society when someone has to hire a lawyer at great expense and inconvenience to protect one’s reputation from these ugly trolls.
The mere fact that there are now companies whose entire business is trying to remove hateful, inaccurate posts is inconceivable and totally disgraceful.

Table Hopping is another social no no that I simply can’t abide. It is the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen. Individuals who go to a restaurant with someone, then walk around holding court as if they own the place, shaking hands, speaking with people for more than simply a polite acknowledgement ,and speaking loudly all the while leaving their dinner partner(s) wondering why they are there at all. How someone can possibly think this behaviour makes them look important escapes me.

Clearly I am not the only one feeling this way, it is becoming a subject on the lips of more and more people.
Hopefully this trend will reverse and we will return to a more elegant, considerate way of living…..

What do YOU think??

Living Through a Pandemic

As an observer of life, I find it fascinating that sometimes those making the loudest pronouncements and taking up the most space intellectually are actually the ones living the saddest lives.

In life, one makes certain key decisions as how one chooses to live their lives, and I made mine very early on, and followed my dream, mostly in silence. People I know would lose sight of me for weeks or months on end, my excuse for my absences was that I was working. That was certainly partly the case, and working in several cities simultaneously is a challenge, now, did I meet ‘x’ in Toronto or Chicago?? Yikes!!!

I have endured endless nasty gossip from women with too little to do with their sad little lives other than gossiping ruthlessly about people they know little or nothing about. The more I have heard of the gossip, the further away I ran…..

Living life well is the best revenge ,doing it on your own dime, even better…

One of the extraordinary gifts I have enjoyed is making amazing friends who are scattered around the world. As we are locked down in our homes we are seeing empty streets with a proliferation of wild animals wandering aimlessly about…..air less polluted, and quiet….

Taking the time to call some of these individuals has been wonderful, no one is in a hurry to go anywhere beyond the kitchen, and the ability to spend an hour on the phone with no disturbances has been brilliant!!!, but even better, the laughter has been incredible !!!

But there have been some less attractive observations, which is seeing certain people showing their true colours.

From cyberbullying on Facebook, to acting out like spoiled, pathetic children, showing a distinct lack of class or consideration for others. The refusal to wear a mask in public, and bragging about their unwillingness only shows their ignorance and selfishness, and willingness to put the lives of others at risk.

There are those who interrupt others and do not let them speak, behaving as though they are all knowing and all seeing. Sit back and think about it. They are showing who they REALLY are. The man who claims to be from an upper class British family, putting on airs and a fake English accent ,screaming people down when he does not agree with them, and throwing temper tantrums like a bratty 2 year old. No one from a decent family would EVER behave in such a disgraceful fashion…..
Then, to continue the thought, if he is from such an amazing background ,why is it that he has returned to Britain twice in the last 30 years, and stayed in horrid B & B’s instead of with relatives having homes in Knightsbridge, Holland Park or Mayfair????
Last thought on this dreadful person, is realizing that over the years I am unable to remember ever sharing a really good laugh. That is sad.

Quiet observation of several individuals who make the most pronouncements has shown that, for the most part, they do NOT live particularly well, have not travelled, and in fact, are extremely limited in enjoying a cross section of friends and acquaintances.

Many have expressed feelings of isolation, however, the last time I checked, the telephone actually works in more than one direction. So, they are miffed because WE don’t call them, but when is the last time that THEY actually reached out??? When did they make you laugh or give you any type of pleasure to result to you smiling uncontrollably??

So, who are your friends?? More importantly, who do you still wish to keep as friends?? Unless one is extremely insecure and needs to feel that there is always an entourage, are they really friends or simply taking up your time and space, and worse, risking your life to satisfy their insecurities???

The ability to sit back and look from the outside in gives one extraordinary clarity.

Highly recommended during these uncertain times…

Being safe and careful is far more important than having selfish, uncaring people around you. It is your LIFE.

Do these individuals bring you laughter?? Joy??

Having too much time on one’s hands allows for introspection, contemplation and evaluation …..one must be able to look at oneself coldly at the same time as evaluating others. A frightening thought, but certainly the opportunity for a serious awakening.

To my amazing friend in London who suggested some of the changes to this BLOG, thank you for MANY years of joy and laughter, have an incredible birthday and wishes for many, many more.

Dying for Fashion

In the midst of a pandemic, whatever notion of common sense there may have been, has certainly disappeared.

During the last week, there have been endless riots and protests in the US, where we have witnessed tens of thousands of people, in numerous cities, all jammed together, most of whom were NOT wearing masks.

NO, I am not in any way saying that I condone the actions of the police in the senseless killing of an unarmed black man, but the response of putting one’s own life at risk, as well as that of one’s family is senseless, and frankly unconscionable.

Stay at home legislation is slowly being lifted, and let me say loudly, I DO NOT AGREE, as unfortunately it has sent a message to the stupid and unthinking that all is OK. NO, it is NOT.

The pandemic is still here. It is mutating and spreading.

Some schools, not in Quebec, reopened, and already they are experiencing huge numbers of new COVID cases. Each child in those schools is potentially spreading the virus and bringing it home to spread.

I went to 2 stores the other day, and drive past several others. What I witnessed was excessive numbers of clients waiting in lines outside, the majority NOT wearing masks or doing any semblance of social distancing.
The other thing I witnessed was people in filthy clothes and shoes, women carrying filthy, disgusting handbags overflowing with dirty Kleenex and other things, greasy, dirty hair, and semi-nudity.
Yes. Due to the heat wave we experienced last week, women were out in flip flops and other open toe sandals, wearing teeny tiny tops with spaghetti straps and exposed mid-riffs ( vulgar in public at any time) and mostly unattractive and inappropriate, and the shortest of shorts and mini skirts which left little to the imagination.

And the point is??!!!

IF microdroplets can linger in the air of a room with poor circulation for up to 14 MINUTES, these individuals are seriously exposing themselves and their families to the coronavirus as they carry it home on their already dirty exposed bodies.

The lack of personal hygiene was already at issue, but the lack of clothing is insanity.

The need to be ‘cute’ is defying logic at a time when you are putting yourself at risk. Is it really worth dying for??
Those same women were not wearing masks, not social distancing, and clearly not all out in the company of family members. Many were shopping with friends.

I would like to say, ‘what were they thinking’?? but clearly being out and being ‘cute’ was more important than their lives. So, intelligent thought was sorely lacking, along with their clothes.

Earlier in the week when I did my outing to the grocery store, I actually saw some individuals sporting masks, but along with that, a few also wearing a sense of humour. One fellow was wearing an extremely funky colourful shirt, the sleeves had been partly cut off, and the missing fabric used to manufacture a matching mask!!
A few older couples were wearing crazy matching masks.
If they can do it, WHAT is the problem??

If the Asian and Medical communities have PROVEN that wearing masks reduces the risk of transmission, why on earth refuse to wear one??

If you are such a fashion victim, then just wear one that matches your outfit!! Not so hard.

So, in the name of saving our own lives as well as those we love, let’s get back to basics, shall we??

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Actually a safe distance from others is 10 feet, 6 is the absolute minimum.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

We are endlessly being told to wash those hands, but what about the rest?? If ever there was a moment in time to be squeaky clean, this is it. Just because you have been locked up for 2 months wearing your comfy pyjamas, it is no excuse for not bathing, and certainly no excuse to venture out of the house in said dirty, comfy pyjamas. Bathe, wash your hair, shave your face, wash your clothes, sanitize your shoes, put on decent clothes. We can see AND smell you.

While you are at it, you should be cleaning all the following articles religiously…….

Sheets
Towels
Sponges
Washcloths
Toothbrushes
Dishcloths
Clothes
Door knobs
Light switches
Faucets
Re-usable shopping bags
Handbags
Shoes
Counters
Shower – bathtub
Car doors
Steering wheels
Mail box
Door bell

When you arrive home, remove your shoes and sanitize them immediately.

In Japan it is considered polite to remove one’s shoes before entering a private home. If ever there was a time to adhere to this practice, now is the time.

For years I have been imploring people to not walk into my home with their filthy shoes, and NOT to bring their filthy slippers to wear in my house.
NO FOOTWEAR means NO FOOTWEAR. Period.

Are you starting to understand??

MASKS

Wear one. It is a sign of respect for oneself and others. Period.

FACIAL HAIR

Remove it all. UGH.
Facial hair is dirty at the best of times, shave it off. It is easier to wash your face before putting that mask on.!

LONG NAILS

Ugly and gross at the best of times. NEVER clean. Cut them off, and wash, wash, wash those hands.

EYE GLASSES

Clean them a LOT.
Don’t touch them when you are out in public.
Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the body.

HAIR

Wash it more than usual. It carries germs.

MOBILE PHONES & TABLETS

Clean, clean, clean

PUBLIC TOILETS

To be avoided at all costs.

When a toilet flushes, it unleashes millions of microdroplets into the air, which land on EVERYTHING.
The person who used it before you touched door handles, toilet paper dispenser, toilet paper, flusher, seat, faucets, everything. If they were infected, you just touched everything they did.

Perhaps I am a bit extreme, but I carry a mini Lysol spray, wipes, gloves and masks with me anytime I go out, and I use them excessively. If nature is screaming at you and you have no choice but to use a public toilet, wash your hands immediately, then bathe yourself, your clothes and shoes the second you get home. Do NOT wait.

HANDBAGS

If you must carry one, sanitize it every time you come home.
They sell alcohol wipes, spray and Lysol. Use it.

This virus does not care how cute or how fashionable you are. Wear closed shoes, and cover your body if you are going to public places.

WASH……..WASH……WASH

Stay alive

It is your life.

CovIDIOTS on the Move…..

Try as I may, unfortunately there are certain subjects which are difficult to write in an amusing and entertaining fashion. Covid 19 is one of them.

I am astounded by the level of unconscionable arrogance and selfishness demonstrated by certain politicians and individuals which are about us.

This is NOT a joke. It is a world pandemic which has infected over 5 million people and killed over 330,000. The numbers are rising exponentially on a daily basis. People who know me well are aware that I am an ‘information junkie’ with a massive Canadian and International network of contacts, not to mention being an avid reader, easily consuming 10 magazines and books in a week when I am on a tear. There is a lot to process. Add to that a reasonable number of Medical Doctors around the world, and well, you get the picture.
The information is not amassed in an isolated fashion as I have also lived in multiple cities and countries and travelled extensively.

There are those pontificators who would have you believe everything they loudly expound, but the smart thing to do, like anything you read in public media, is to step back, and look at who they really are, how much they have travelled, and how large and diverse their networks.
In most cases, it is not so much. So, do you REALLY want to listen to them and risk your LIFE by listening to them? I think not.

Last weekend we celebrated Victoria Day in Canada, the US are celebrating Memorial Day this weekend.

Images are flooding television screens and Facebook feeds of tens of thousands of people all crammed together, no masks, no social distancing, no sense of danger, whatsoever. Just to be clear, wearing a mask is a sign of respect to yourself and others. Period.

Given the spread of microdroplets in the air, particularly in a breeze, they can spread well over 10 feet in seconds, with uncirculated air, they can linger in the air for 14 minutes after someone has spoken, coughed or sneezed.
MINUTES, not seconds, just to reiterate.

Unfortunately I actually know some of the guilty parties. People who have been out socializing in groups then getting together in private homes for cocktails.
One arrogant wag actually posted “ F it, I want to go out and see my friends and hug them….”
Her so-called loving hugs can bring someone an excrutiating death. If there ever was a time to reconsider your friends, this is it.
Clearly I will not be having anything to do with her, ever. That total lack of insensivity towards the security of others is not something I wish to experience.

We have neighbours with children who are NEVER home. They are constantly coming and going to visit with others.
Others have children riding bicycles like hooligans with crowds of others screaming and creating havoc. WHERE are their parents??? And just WHAT are they thinking??

I guess they have all conveniently forgotten why their children are not in school and they are not at their jobs……

As much as being prisoners in our own home is not something we relish, being alive and healthy and together is something we relish a LOT. We are trying to approach it with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour. From Friday Night ‘Date Night’ to working outside and getting much needed sunshine and natural Vitamin D, we are making our home look pretty. We both cook in totally different styles, so the other thing we do is pretend we are going out to dinner. Last night we went to ‘Chinatown’ for noodle soup. Yes, in our dining room, no, we did not go anywhere near a restaurant. But it was absolutely delicious.

The other thing we do is call our friends around the world to say hello. People feel loved and not so totally isolated as they self quarantine, as well as knowing they are not alone in doing the ‘right thing’.

Although there are those who avoid Social Media such as Facebook, it is an extraordinary tool to stay in touch with friends in far flung parts of the world.
They really do appreciate it when you reach out to them.

There have been some unfortunate observations, and that is the utter arrogance and selfishness of the young, and it can unfortunately be directly attributed to their parents. Many individuals grew up with extremely strict parents, and swore they would not treat their own children in that fashion. We are now living the reprecussions of them never having overly disciplined their children. Their offspring are selfish, rude, and have never experienced any type of hardship. They have been coddled and protected from anything remotely unpleasant, and repeatedly told just how ‘special’ they are, even if they are not.
The lack of manners and discipline is awful, consequently, the concept of self isolating, social distancing, and considering the safety of others before themselves is a foreign concept, and they are handling it VERY badly. When their entire lives have been about their being special, their image, their so-called fabulous lives, what to do when you are isolated at home with very bad hair, a bad complexion, and unable to take awesome selfies?? Unable to go out with their ‘posse’…!! Oh horror or horrors!!!

All of a sudden, they are confronted with the concept of being forced to consider the safety and lives of others. This is NOT an easy thing to do when you have never done it before. Putting the safety of others FIRST, being told to self-isolate, to protect the lives of others, self distance, and OH MY……wear a mask…….IN PUBLIC…..such a foreign concept…

Unfortunately as the weekend comes to a close, we hear of escalating rates of infection and death in Quebec, Ontario, throughout the US, Brazil and Mexico…..

The same weekend filled with images on beaches, protesting in huge crowds, shopping in malls, all in close proximity to one another, all with NO MASKS, and no social distancing.

Covid 19 is an equal opportunity killer. It does not care a whit about your religion, your age, your sex, your position in life….or lack thereof.

Do the right thing, wash your hands, your body, your hair, shave your face, wash your clothes, your shoes…….keep 6-10 feet from others. Leave your filthy handbag at home. Clean your mobile phone. ….If you feel remotely unwell, STAY HOME. Ask someone to check in on you by telepone. Do NOT risk the lives of others by going out due to your selfishness.

Just a thought, could you live your life knowing you were responsible for the death of your close relative or best friend??

Think about it.

Be smart.

Be Safe.

And then the World Stood Still

This is an extraordinary moment in time which will forever be etched in the memories of the entire population of the world. It is inconceivable that in the space of one week over 6 BILLION people across the planet simultaneously locked themselves in their homes with but a slight warning from some so-called world leaders.

The world came to a silent and abrupt halt.

Bustling streets around the world normally filled with people became instantly empty, videos taken by the brave, and by drones flying overhead bear witness to the odd seagull seeking lunch at his favourite restaurant and questioning the absence of food and humans.

‘But WHERE are my French Fries.???.” he asks quizzically…unused to the void of humans and potential food…..

It is extraordinary to see scenes of major international cities such as New York,, Paris, London, Rome, Milan devoid of human presence, and the silent return of wildlife, wandering around world monuments with no fear of human threat…..

We are fortunate that some internationally renown medical specialists stepped up to calmly explain a pandemic in simplistic terms to try to calm an otherwise terrified world.
This is the time when we truly see both the good and the bad of humanity. The medical and emergency professionals risking their own lives every moment of every day to try and save lives, at the same time as some truly arrogant politicians behaving in unconscionable ways trying to deflect and blame others for the crisis. Deaths spiraling out of control due to lies and gross incompetence, others stepping up ,speaking in measured, calm, logical words to try to explain something unexplainable.

We have heard of 6 degrees of separation, but unfortunately it is more like 10 feet of separation, as studies have proven that micro droplets travel much farther than previously believed.

As a long time student of human behaviour, I must admit to being speechless at some of the arrogant, selfish, ignorant behaviour I see around me. Neighbours with children who are clearly home from school for a reason, totally defying the rules of self isolation and separation. Some of them out socializing every day, large groups of children playing outside, their parents at home, not thinking of the risks they are putting on their children and themselves. One person can infect 1000.

People in shops and on the street unwilling to distance themselves from others, and when confronted, becoming belligerent and publicly insulting those who politely request that they step back….

This is NOT a joke.

This virus does not see age, race ,colour, socio-economic situation ……it is ruthless and will attack and kill anyone and everyone it encounters.

My small contribution is my ability to collect and collate information from around the world, and to distribute it first to my Doctor friends around the world and to my friends and acquaintances…If by providing information I can save and protect lives, then I have been successful….

So, PLEASE..don’t be selfish,

STAY HOME.

If you go out, COVER your mouth and nose.

Stay 10 feet away from others.

WASH your hands a LOT.

Wash your shoes and purchases when you arrive home.

Reach out to your friends by telephone, NOT by text and email….it is NOT the same.

SLEEP, READ, catch up on projects, and mostly

STAY ALIVE.

COVID-19 and the Rise of the CovIDIOT

I have a great number of friends who are medical doctors, and are putting their lives on the line for us EVERY DAY, and they are absolutely TERRIFIED.

They do not have anywhere close to sufficient self protection masks and gowns…

There is NO VACCINE

There is NO CURE

This is NOT A JOKE

Yes, I am incredibly selfish….but in a good way……..i want my friends to live long happy lives, I care about them deeply.

So, how about YOU STOP being SELFISH and DO YOUR PART…..

STAY HOME

SELF ISOLATE

WASH

WASH again

WASH EVERYTHING

Practice SOCIAL DISTANCING

Maybe we will all be alive to laugh about this some time in the future……

That is the only thing we can hope for…..

I have a great number of friends who are medical doctors, and are putting their lives on the line for us EVERY DAY, and they are absolutely TERRIFIED.

They do not have anywhere close to sufficient self protection masks and gowns…

There is NO VACCINE

There is NO CURE

This is NOT A JOKE

Yes, I am incredibly selfish….but in a good way……..i want my friends to live long happy lives, I care about them deeply.

So, how about YOU STOP being SELFISH and DO YOUR PART…..

STAY HOME

SELF ISOLATE

WASH

WASH again

WASH EVERYTHING

Practice SOCIAL DISTANCING

Maybe we will all be alive to laugh about this some time in the future……

That is the only thing we can hope for…..

R

Is there something not clear about the words…….

STAY HOME

STAY ISOLATED

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Do NOT congregate in groups of over 2 people…..

WASH your HANDS

WASH them AGAIN….and while you are at it, could you please shower and wash your filthy hair, and body, and wash your filthy clothes??

Going to the grocery store is terrifying enough, but what really boggles the mind is just how unclean, unwashed, unshaven, are the majority of the population wandering the aisles…

Staying at home is NO EXCUSE for not bathing, shaving or washing your dirty, stained clothes….if anything, it will give you something useful to do, and actually, the more you bathe, the healthier you and those around you will be……

I have always been way more aware of my surroundings than most, and see neighbours with 2 teenagers going in and out with their car 5-6 times a day…..not a mask in sight.

Where can you possibly go 5-6 times daily that is THAT important???   Then the younger child goes out and plays in the street with other children…..

I saw the older daughter get into the car with her mother 2 days ago, all dressed up with a gift bag in her hand, obviously going to a birthday party.

What is not clear about “ STAY HOME and SELF ISOLATE???”  your children are not in school for a reason, you are not working right now for the same reason……

IS IT NOT that OBVIOUS???

Then there are the photographs taken on Ste Catherine Street last week of close to 100 people standing in line all  crushed together to get into the POT store……

ONE person was wearing a mask and self distancing,

The other 99???   Potentially all murderers…..yes, I said it.

They have potentially exposed themselves to a deadly virus and some will be taking public transport to go home to whomever is waiting there, and along with the POT, they are bringing a deadly illness home as well.

YOU are NOT IMMUNE

YOU are NOT SPECIAL

YOU are an IDIOT!!!

Then there are the selfish, inconsiderate people who have been on airplanes which are essentially metal tubes acting as Petri dishes full of filth and germs, coming home, standing in huge cramped lines at the airport on both sides, coming home to their families, NOT self distancing, and touching everything in sight, from door knobs to faucets, toilets, counters, and then, just to add insult to injury, continuing to go out and socialize instead of following the LAW and self isolating for 14 days….

.

You are potentially going to KILL thousands of people with your arrogance and lack of consideration for others….

DO YOU GET IT YET???

Can you not at least TRY to control your selfishness during a world pandemic???

There is a day care in someone’s home, ostensibly closed to help curtail the spread of this deadly virus, yet 6 – 10 children on bicycles were in their driveway 2 days ago all together screaming at the top of their lungs and playing together…..

WHERE are the parents??

Why are their children outside unsupervised???

Every person those children come in contact with could now be exposed. SO, if there are elderly grandparents living in their homes, they are putting them at serious risk.

When you go to the grocery store, can you PLEASE think of others and not only yourself??  MINIMUM 6 feet separation , maybe be really considerate, turn around in the narrow aisle and go in the other direction.

DO NOT CROWD and chat with others, this is NOT a party. This is our LIVES and our FUTURES…..

I have a great number of friends who are medical doctors, and are putting their lives on the line for us EVERY DAY, and they are absolutely TERRIFIED.

They do not have anywhere close to sufficient self protection masks and gowns…

There is NO VACCINE

There is NO CURE

This is NOT A JOKE

Yes, I am incredibly selfish….but in a good way……..i want my friends to live long happy lives, I care about them deeply.

So, how about YOU STOP being SELFISH and DO YOUR PART…..

STAY HOME

SELF ISOLATE

WASH

WASH again

WASH EVERYTHING

Practice SOCIAL DISTANCING

Maybe we will all be alive to laugh about this some time in the future……

That is the only thing we can hope for…..

R

Where is the Joy??

In the middle of November every year, the madness of Christmas shopping and cocktail parties explodes and the panic sets in…

There are those who look forward to the swirl of activity, as well as those who look at it all with trepidation and the Fear of Missing Out……How many invitations?? Having just the ‘right’ outfits, fitting in, taking the requisite number of selfies in posh stores, restaurants, parties, to feel included, and to show the world just how fabulous they are..

But in the midst of all this swarm of activity, the big question looms large…..where is the JOY?? Laughter?? Inclusiveness???

When is the last time you went to a party and actually laughed until you cried??

Those who are regular readers of this BLOG know that I love to be on the periphery, standing in a corner quietly surveying the room. Watching those who preen and posture, those who wait to enter so that they can make a entrance, ensuring their fake fabulousness can be observed and witnessed by all. Their pretention and arrogance not understood by the social climbers, who race over to shake their special hands, air kiss their spectacular cheeks, and breathe in the air they breathe, hoping it will be photographed and saved for posterity. Bragging rights ensured the the next event, selfies for their next post.
The extraordinary games of one upmanship, bragging of their most recent trip or party.

Watch those milling around the room, using their phones as an excuse to disengage and move on to more suitable prey.

First impressions screaming out, ‘LOOK AT ME’ when, in reality, often the person who underdresses and sits quietly is really the one to watch. Did you EVER
See Steve Jobs in a suit strutting around? Bill Gates in a suit that actually fits? Likewise Warren Buffet, driving his old clunker and still living in his old home. If you did not know who they were, you would never think they were remotely successful. …. And you would be WRONG.

It is fascinating for me to watch individuals interacting at an event where you know virtually everyone in the room, watch them sizing up and appraising, deciding whether or not someone is of ‘VALUE’ to them, see the change in their eyes, posture, as they move in for the ‘kill’ …
But, do you REALLY know who they are when they are outside of your immediate social circle?? How they really live their lives? Their values?? Honesty??

Other than the false narrative exhibited by many, how many people actually stand back and LOOK??? Appearances can be extremely deceiving, and most importantly the self aggrandizing chatter.

I used to be friends with someone who brags endlessly about her huge international business, latest world travels, latest $4000 handbag, latest fabulous restaurant, exquisite flat, private jets, latest car…..it is ALL a lie. The tiny flat is rented, the car is leased, the business in a tiny rental, the credit cards through the roof, always one sale away from bankruptcy. Walk into a posh shop with her, and the fabulousness rhetoric begins……go to a restaurant, party, and her fabulousness is sounded from every corner, people crowd to be part of her, to wash in her glory, to salivate at her stories, but, nothing is real.

The low class east end social climber who literally threw herself at wealthy men, married or not, and ultimately married reasonably well. Who has to have her name in the papers, be photographed at the most recent social event, but ask anyone who knew her when she was single, and they actually shudder at hearing her name. One actually blanched with discomfort. Someone who was brought up to never speak ill of anyone. Yet he admitted he was incapable of saying anything whatsoever kind about her, she was such a total embarassment to be around. Yes, he IS the one with the money and family pedigree. His reaction was physical.

The holiday season is supposed to be about re-connecting with the people in your life, making new friends and celebrating, but for some it is only about networking to sell their latest product to some unsuspecting target. To fill their photo libraries with new selfies in posh locations, to show the world how important they are, how successful.

But NEVER, how nice.

Did I vere off topic??

Actually, no, not at all.

Over the last few years I have been purging a lifetime of belongings, having 2 large offices in 2 different cities, and a large home, all full, all mine.Yes, TRIPLE everything.
There are hundreds of photos, business cards, invitations, diaries, and they have ALL been part of the purge. It is utterly exhausting.

Unfortunately some mementos of friends who left this earth way too soon, but their memory brings a smile and sadness. Others are gone from this world or from my life. Shredding hundreds of business cards, photos and invitations was cathartic…..

This process forced me to look further, and question certain relationships which led me to distancing myself from unpleasant people. Mostly those who are
USERS. I realized some were after my address book, be it business or social…….and when I refused to share, I was no longer of interest.

People who are not kind, not generous, not inviting, never sharing. No gentility.

This exercise crossed socio-economic boundaries, social groups, business groups, everything.

I realized that many of them brought me no joy, no smile, no laughter, no fond memories, just, well…….nothing.
So why did I allow them to take my time and energy??

If you walk away from an encounter with someone who is supposed to be your friend and increasingly feel angry, it is time to STOP.

Life is about surrounding yourself with laughter, joy, being with people who actually make YOU feel good about yourself, it is not always about them. People who celebrate life.

When is the last time you truly were with people simply having a great time, laughing and sharing joy???

Have an amazing New Year!!!

Trying to get perspective