On loss and putting things in perspective

A little more than a week ago I had written about the Montreal auto show and slipped in a short one-sentence mention about it being an emotional day. Most of you know that this had nothing to do with the auto show. In fact what happened in the wee hours of that morning is that a friend of a friend had passed away. I didn’t know this person well only having met them briefly over a coffee at my friend’s place. I found them to be funny, warm and welcoming even though at the time they were having to deal with a life-ending illness. At that time it didn’t hit me so much as here was this vibrant person, laughing and having a good time, but when I heard that they had passed away and at the same age as myself it hit me hard, in fact still hitting me hard. It’s forced me to put some things in perspective and concentrate on what is important in life. It’s not always easy, humans are funny that way, even when faced with our ultimate demise and fate we still choose paths that are at worst destructive and at best do not have our best interest at heart. This is what has been happening to me of late, I know that I should approach life with a certain sense of perspective and taking note of things that are really important, yet I often fall into old habits and give weight to things that are really not all that important. I do hope to be able to improve on this in 2017.

When messy is good?

I read an article today on CBC’s Tapestry show website  that took me a little by surprise, it was entitled Don’t be a neat freak: Why messiness is good for the soul. For quite some time now I’ve been trying to organize things at home, trying hard to clean up my office, workshop, etc… in hopes of also clearing my mind and then along comes with article which seems to suggest that having a mess around one’s environment might actually be beneficial for the mind and increase creativity. It goes on to say that having a messy and disorderly place might actually make one more creative as it forces us to circumvent obstacles, either visual and/or physical. I started thinking of this and how some of my best ideas and solutions are often found when I have to scavenge through an old parts bin, or perhaps going through my small containers in my workshop looking for a doohickey or thingamabob to fix or make something. The article ends with mentioning how in 1975 Keith Jarret, famous Jazz pianist was invited to play in Köln, Germany and upon arriving there found that the piano on stage was not in best condition. However, rather than quit or find another piano at the last minute, he decided to go ahead with the concert. Facing an out-of-tune piano with sticking keys, Mr. Jarret, always the consummate professional decided to change and play around this piano’s foibles, the result, which I’m listening to as I type this post, is an absolute feast for the ears. Jarret had to play things differently when faced with such a mess, much like we all have to become more creative to deal with what can sometimes be very chaotic environments around us. So, I leave you with Mr. Jarret’s stirring piano concert from 1975, enjoy.

Chevrolet VOLT will have to wait :(

I had written several weeks ago that I was thinking of a Volt some time in 2018, but reality is sometimes cruel and after much thought and having to sink $2K in needed repairs and regular maintenance on the Hyundai Tucson, I honestly need to drive it for a few years to recoup the money AND give me time to save up some for an eventual down-payment on perhaps a 2014 Volt. One thing for sure is that the car does intrigue me, the fact that it has electric drive most of the time and gets up to 50Km autonomy before having to rely on the on-board internal combustion engine to drive a generator to recharge the batteries and power the vehicle, fascinates me.  My daily commute is just a little over 50Km both ways, so the Volt would be a perfect fit, allowing me to go on longer trips when required. The only hiccup is the lifetime of the battery pack and the fact that the car is not designed to pull a trailer, supposedly of any type at all, which is a problem as I have a small utility trailer that I’ve used for many many years now and is really indispensable. In any case I remain curious and will read up as much as I can on the good points and bad points of the Chevrotlet Volt.

As always, stay-tuned, I’ll have more on the Volt and other madness in the coming weeks.