Posted in About Kev, Random THoughts, Work From Home

Life Working From Home

So, I’m a sales guy for an IT distributor, and pre-COVID-19 my normal day included planning a day that involved leaving the house early, possibly stopping off at the office for an hour or two and then getting out to visit my customers (all resellers) for the day, helping close opportunities, strategize with them and of course some lunches, dinners and rounds of gold thrown in for good measure – you know…the normal thing a sales pro does to help customers.

Enter March 2020 and COVID-19 and we were all relegated to our homes, doing our job very efficiently I might add, not even missing a beat with our customers. Sure, business was impacted in various ways, but I thank God daily that our industry supplies key products and solutions in healthcare, transportation/ logistics, and manufacturing just to name a few and we were quite run off our feet trying to procure products during the spring.

Sure, no customer face-to-face visits, but everyone got on the video conference bandwagon pretty darn quickly to keep in touch with customers and suppliers. Again, our company adapted promptly, getting us the tools needed to be connected properly and securely from home. I found myself making more phone calls than emails as a way of staying personally connected.

I do have to say, I don’t miss the Toronto-area traffic for the day-to-day, but I’d take it to be able to regularly SEE my customers again, and would love to be able to do my week-long road trips again someday soon (eastern Ontario, northern Ontario, etc.). I thought it would be kind of fun to share home office space pictures…not sure I have much of a following yet on this site, but if you see this and are also working from home mostly, I’d love to see your workspace. I took last week off to repaint and do some organizing in mine since it seems I’m here for the foreseeable future…here is my space so far…

Newly painted/ organized home office

My view on most sunny days is great with the window just up to my left…today not so much (14 degrees and rainy). I figured if I’m sequestered in my basement to do my job, then it may as well be comfortable!

I still long for “normality” and the ability to get out on the road, but with phase 2 in full swing here in Ontario that seems like a bit of a dream at the moment…

Posted in Music, River City Church

Truth Be Told – Matthew West

I help manage our church’s social media programs and we have come up with a couple of weekly “campaigns” for awareness…one that I came up with was our #RCCMusicThursday posts – I walk and bike almost daily and am always coming across new inspirational songs from the Contemporary Christian Music scene…while on yesterday’s walk, this Matthew West song came on and really hit home to how many people likely feel they have to appear to others, particularly in these crazy pandemic times. Take a listen and pay attention to the lyrics and remember it’s OK that we’re all broken, and God’s love for us doesn’t change!

Posted in Fall, Photos, Random THoughts

Another Gorgeous Fall Day

October Weather in Ontario

Today was another great day to get out and walk. It was about 12-13 degrees, breezy and sunny. Perfect outdoor activity weather in my opinion. We’re coming up to our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend this weekend, and weather looks great – hopefully getting into the twenties (Celsius), so hoping to get the bike out for one more good ride this Saturday, before the trainer tire gets installed and it gets hooked up to that for the next 5-6 months.

Posted in D&D, Games

Gargoyles, D&D, Broken Bridges…

These gargoyles didn’t last too long against our power!

Last night was our online session of D&D…we are in the latter parts of Rise of Tiamat…a very popular 5th Edition adventure – our group has been at this (starting with Hoard of the Dragon Queen) for almost two years now. We are all level 11 and still having a blast, even remote using Roll20 as our virtual tabletop platform during the pandemic. Every single one of us still eagerly looks forward to our sessions, and even though we miss rolling real dice and being there in person, we have a blast every other week or so!

My character is Cordanim Stoneridge, a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut and my trusty celestial wyvern (I know, I know the mini isn’t a wyvern) Pu’Khi who I can summon every once in a while for some flying support.

If you used to play D&D and haven’t in a while, definitely look into with some friends! It’s a great way to connect with people while staying safe!

Posted in Games, Pathfinder

My First “Humble Bundle”

I had never heard of Humble Bundle before, but one day there was an ad in my Facebook feed that caught my eye. Now I typically don’t click or investigate ads on social media (way too much click-bait for my liking), but this one was promoting a Pathfinder bundle of books and e-books that looked very interesting. For those not familiar with Pathfinder, it’s a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) a la Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) that some friends have played and enjoyed, and I’ve always wanted to give it a whirl. The cost of the books, though (when so heavily invested in D&D), always made me think, “later, Kev”.

This bundle, however, basically allowed me to pay what I thought was fair, with portions going to the publisher and charity. I finally decided to do $50CAD and that would get me the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Second Edition) hardcover as well as approximately 25-30 PDF and ePub files of other Pathfinder content (rules, adventures, creatures, etc.). Since the book (at around $60CAD) was always my main need, but also my main deterrent due to cost, I figured why not jump in and get all the extra content as well!

Fast forward about 4 weeks (they had to ship from the US to Canada of course) and yesterday a box arrived. I admit, I was nervous about getting a gorgeous hardcover book like this mailed – who knows how they’d pack it and would it arrived damaged? Well the fear of that was nixed immediately upon opening the box. Not only did they have it sized exactly, the book was inserted into precise foam corner cutouts, as seen below in the “unboxing” pictures.

Net result was a pristine condition book, a super-happy customer that will soon learn the Pathfinder rules, and essentially this post to help promote Humble Bundle for anyone that is into gaming, eBooks and software and is looking for interesting content and a very unique way to procure. Give them a look sometime!

Posted in Cycling

The Start of “Fall” Riding

Today was about 10C at 8:30am when I went out to get the bike ready for a ride…sunny, but crisp…I chose to wear the long cycling pants and jersey this morning just in case it didn’t warm up as quickly as the forecast was saying.

I met up with a work colleague from our Montreal office who is in the area for a week or so hosting events (socially-distant, of course) for our customers. He was looking forward to seeing our rural country-side by bike. I set up an easy 20KM-ish route for us as I wasn’t sure how often he is on a bike, and didn’t want to be responsible for any injuries! We had a great time on a beautiful fall morning in Cambridge, ON. That’s me to the right in the below shot on our last 5KM leg before parting ways for the day.

I always enjoy starting the day with a ride – it just sets the energy level for a great day overall! If tomorrow’s forecast is right, it looks like I may just be up for a longer one on Sunday!

Posted in 9/11

9/11 Memories from Canada

New WTC Memorial

I know there are likely going to be lots of posts on this today, but as I was scrolling through my news feed today over a coffee, I was brought back to that fateful morning in 2001…sitting in the office, going about my normal early-day work routine, chatting with colleagues and then the news hit.

At first, it was more about confusion with all the little bits of info coming in, and everyone wondering what was going on! And then the second plane hit, and I remember just feeling my stomach lurch…the feeling of empathy that washed over me (and many of my co-workers) was so acute that it went silent in our large open-concept office. You could hear a pin drop (on carpet no less).

A short while later our CEO told everyone that if they needed to they could go home. Most of us stayed and tried to work while getting info off the Internet. A few of us did head to a nearby co-worker’s house for lunch so we could get the TV news feed for a while. By this time flights were being re-routed all over (I remember Gander, NL being a main hub but I think a few flights were sent to Toronto too) and at this point it was all about nations reaching out with helping hands however possible.

I cannot fathom being family members of the thousands who perished that day, whether they were serving as first responders, or those who for no reason other than being in the wrong spot at the wrong time thanks to evil terrorists, had their lives cut short as they relive this day for the 19th time. Even though I do not know any of you, and you’ll likely not read this, know that I (and many Canadians) share in your grief and pain, and hope and pray that nothing like this happens again…to anyone.

Remembering those who fell and those who carry on…