Are YOU a Manual or Knowledge Worker?

In the 1970s academic kids in my neighbourhood went to Viscount Bennett High School. The rest (losers 😀) went to Earnest Manning High School which had far superior TRADES training.

The internet accelerated the fortunes of knowledge workers. Relative wages of those working in trades declined.

Everyone wanted to be a white collar worker. Sitting all day at a computer manipulating electrons.

Author/mechanic Matthew Crawford argues that is wrong. And is changing.

He quit his job at a Think Tank, instead opening a Motorcycle repair shop.

Matthew’s book is titled Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Van Neistat makes an even better argument. A Spirited Man can build and fix things. Help his friends and family. A real man can do manual labour.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Me?

I’m hopeless. Not the least handyman you know, … but close.

I ride bikes but can’t fix them when they breakdown.

By comparison, my Dad and brother Rob are career Jack-of-all-Trades.

The late great buddy Rob Glaser was probably my most trusted authority for all things broken.

Needless to say, he was expert in living outdoors. Manipulated firewood with his bare hands, for example.

In the wild you want to carry only those items which can be repaired on the go. Metal, not plastic.

In 2022 it would be smart to seek work in an occupation where you can’t easily be replace by a computer. Gymnastics coach, for example. It will be a long time before Artificial Intelligence replaces human sport coaching.

Take pride in being able to physically make and repair things.

Farewell Bermuda

After 2 years, I finally got back to Bermuda, this time a month with the NEW Gymnastics Federation. I’m an appointed non-voting consultant on their Board

This trip was busier than ever before jumping back and forth between the two largest clubs.

With the Federation, we’re dealing directly with the Bermuda Olympic Association, still joyous about Flora Duffy winning the Triathlon at the Tokyo Olympics.

BEST was having no Spring allergies in Bermuda. What a relief from Canada.

The weather was mixed. We had more cloud, rain and wind than I can recall in the past.

I still got in some good walks on the famed Railway Trail.

I’m not sure when I’ll next get back to the Triangle. Perhaps May / June 2022 for our proposed 1st ever Bermuda National Gymnastics Championships.

End of the road.

FINALLY Back to Bermuda 😎

My last trip before pandemic shut down travel was to Bermuda. March 2020.

Exactly 2 years later I was finally able to return. Just in time to help with the annual Bermuda International Gymnastics Competition (VIDEO) — though we had no international competitors this year. We kept it fast and fun hoping to inspire kids that the new normal would soon be here.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon 

I lived in the ‘toon for 10 years. After pandemic delays, I finally got back to visit my longtime friends there.

The big skies at dawn and dusk have a unique prairie beauty.

I been hangin’ around grain elevators
I been learnin’ ’bout food
I been talkin’ to soil farmers
I been workin’ on land

Warren took me disc golfing. NOW I’m planning to buy some discs of my own.

Jeff Thomson – Gymnastics Canada Chair

(*Denotes newly elected)

  • *Jeff Thomson (Chair) – North Vancouver, BC (Term ends 2024)
  • Barb Bergeron (Vice-Chair) – Kanata, ON (Term ends 2022)
  • *Bonnie DeGroot (Secretary) – Calgary, AB (Term ends 2024)
  • Rosie MacLennan (Athlete Rep) – Toronto, ON (Term ends 2020)
  • Nathalie Bastien (Director) – Montreal, QC (Term ends 2022)
  • Nick Lenehan (Director) – Halifax, NS (Term ends 2022)
  • *Bernard Petiot (Director) – Montreal, QC (Term ends 2024)
  • Kim Shore (Director) – Calgary, AB (Term ends 2022)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gymnastics Canada membership, and the GymCan Board, for the honour of being elected and then selected as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors,” said Thomson who has 40 years of experience in the sport of gymnastics and is currently a member of the FIG Technical Committee for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics. …

GymCan.org

Jeff Thomson

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling is a treat. 

A young adult novel, it’s ideal for younger kids too.

I grew up with Carol Johnston, the gymnast who was featured in the Disney  TV movie Lefty (1980)

Nobody called Carol “Lefty” back at Altadore.  We called her Carol, one of the best gymnasts in the club.

It was difficult for any other gymnast to complain about anything as Carol worked even harder — and never complained.

Carol passed away on May 11, 2019 due to complications from Early On-set Alzheimers, by the way.  Sad.  But her legend lives on.

She’s still a role model for gymnasts with physical challenges.

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them.

And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined.

There are sequels.

Click PLAY or watch the author on YouTube.

 

Farewell Bermuda

I’m now back in Canada.

Same day Trudeau announced Canada is shutting the border to non-Canadian citizens, with limited exceptions, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

My flight Bermuda to Toronto was quite normal. I was asked to self-quarantine for 14 days when I get to my final destination. Just in case. No testing on arrival.

 Air Canada postponed my ongoing flights by a day claiming Government travel advisory. No compensation.

Sounds bogus to me.

But by luck we managed to complete the annual Bermuda Gymnastics competition on Sunday — before schools closed Tuesday.

Level 7 – 10 Bermuda Gymnastics Association gymnasts

The Gymnastics Club has now shut down, as well, for 2 weeks out of an abundance of caution.

There are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bermuda.

 

 

Canada is the best nation in the world

People are sick of me blaming Trump for everything that’s wrong in the USA.

If he was gone tomorrow, most of the stupid policies of the GOP would survive. That nation is run by rich people, for rich people. Trump has been a very effective (very dumb) puppet for them.

By comparison, I’d say Canada is the best nation in the world. 

Just a few weeks ago, the US News & World report named Canada as the second best country in the world. The annual survey tabulated a variety of factors, including overall quality of life—where Canada was ranked first.

Switzerland is #1 in that survey. I’d rather live in Canada. 

“Yeah, but…” I hear you stutter. “Come to Alberta and argue that!” you say. Alberta? The province that continues to enjoy the highest GDP per capita in the country? In a country that enjoys one of the highest GDP per capita rankings in the world?

“Our health care system is broken!” you shout. Sure. Which is why our life expectancy is one of the highest in the world, better than the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland.

“But the Liberals are terrible!” You have a point. And, because this is one of the healthiest  democracies in the world, soon there will be a free and fair election and you can toss them out so they can be replaced by the Conservatives who will then be terrible in an entirely different way.

Canada is not broken

Personally I’m sick of people blaming Trudeau for everything. If he was gone tomorrow, the Teck oil sands project would NOT be coming back.

The pipeline would NOT be suddenly completed.

We should be putting together a timeline on progressively phasing out the Alberta Oil Sands developments.

I’m certainly prepared to vote against the Trudeau Liberals in the next election, IF the opposition puts together a better candidate. A better platform.

 

farewell Bermuda, hello Great White North

I was back in Bermuda the past few weeks helping out the new Head Coach Brian LeRoux and staff.

I always enjoy Bermuda. Especially the weather.

One real problem, however, are road accidents. In one day both my buses were stopped due to accidents.

One of the teenage gymnasts had a terrible crash on his vespa a few weeks ago. He’s having multiple surgeries in a Boston hospital.

It’s dangerous to walk or cycle in Bermuda. The roadways are simply too narrow. There are many blind spots.