Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Gingerbread House


It's one of those things where, you don't realize you're starting a tradition, until the next time around, 'round about the same time of year.

Now, as Monk would say, "Here's what happened." Minus, of course, a vic and a perp and...wipes.

My six year-old niece got me on the phone a few weeks ago, reminding me of the gingerbread house she and I made "last year." I corrected her.
"It was two years ago, actually. Time flies."
"Oh. So, remember two years ago when we made that gingerbread house?"
"Yes?"
"Well, can we make a gingerbread house again this year?"
"Ummm...sure!!!"

Her mom and I worked out the details re best date and whose house and all that. The evening came. Durie (sis) and I showed up. We were looking forward to this. Kiki had made such a big deal about making the gingerbread house, her excitement was contagious. Which is not to say that we are great at craft! Minor details.

As I recall, I might still have had one foot on the outside and one foot in the house when Kiki greeted us! "Yaaay! We're gonna make the gingerbread house!" A few seconds later, even as I tried to get a "Good evening" out of her, she ran off to the kitchen for the box. She squeezed in a hello. Then, seriously, within two minutes of our arrival, we were ushered into the kitchen. She pulled up the little kitchen step ladder to the counter and, being comfortable that she was now on par height-wise, she got to work. Sorta.

As it turns out, it was more of a...supervisory capacity? "We need to open this!" "We need to cut that." Lol! Thankfully, this house was already assembled. Not like the one last year that we had to put together using the icing as "mortar". That was a wise move on her mom's part. Saved us quite a bit of time. So, this was all about the decorations.

Since I was left holding the (icing) bag, I tried my best. At one point, not being comfortable with how rugged-looking the "snow" on the roof was, I decided to use the knife to flatten out the bumps and spread the icing a bit thinner. In horror, Kiki looked away and covered her face, "This is going to be the worst gingerbread house ever!!!" The child was so sure the house was gonna fall apart. Or something. We tried to control our laughter. I explained what I was doing, reassuring her that disaster had been averted.

I let her squeeze some of the icing and we eventually got to putting the colourful candies on the roof, the windows, and the door. Her mom and Durie joined in, too. Then, umm, Santa had an accident. He was supposed to occupy the prime position next to the door - according to the picture on the box. Well, he fell and suffered a few broken bones. I could see Kiki's face on the verge of a cry. We took turns. Before she could take it to heart, we assured her it was gonna be okay. We'd patch Santa up with the icing and, instead of standing on the "snow" next to the door, he'd just be lying on the "snow". Lol! I can laugh at that now. Lol! She was okay with that. Disaster averted. Again.

It mightn't have turned out to be the best looking gingerbread house ever! But, Kiki was happy and we were happy to do the project with her. A new Christmas tradition. Apparently. All being well, I doubt she's gonna skip next year. We got a few pics a couple of days later, showing her enjoying the door!

All in all, it was pretty sweet.

Gingerbread house 2012. Project: Assembling and decorating.

Gingerbread house 2014. Pre-assembled. Project: Decorating.



Claudia
www.cyopro.com
www.twitter.com




Monday, 8 December 2014

Triumph!


Some of you have heard my...concerns (yes, let's call them that), about Google's seeming quest for world domination. Well, at the very least, to have at least one tentacle in every area of every person's life. I've ranted online and offline about this. So, I was not surprised, in the least, when I became annoyed on learning that a contact had added me to a Google Plus group. I calmly, but immediately, requested I be removed from the G+ group. I cited my long-held privacy concerns and my reservations about Google+.

Now, I use Google for email, blog and smartphone. I've told myself that I'm probably inextricably linked to Google+ in some hidden way, anyway. Although I use these Google gadgets and apps, I would like to think that I have not completely relinquished all say in the extent to which I've given them access to my data. I relish the idea (however flawed) that I have some control over the extent of my connection with them. Of course, I am careful about the information I provide online, but, most times I imagine them connecting the dots between phone settings/preferences and my contacts; between the pics I take and post - even though I've turned off location - and the appointments in my calendar. It's all connected. I'm sure.

So, why was I annoyed about being added? First, because it was without my permission. Second, it was one of the very tentacles I've tried avoiding, only to be thrown in its grasp without having a say. Like the other day after updating the OS to Lollipop and they replaced the Gallery with Photos - which requires joining G+. The horror! I downloaded another app: Piktures. #TheGooglePlusStaredownContinues.

Anyway, I asked to be removed from the list, and I was. I was also informed that I'd be missing out on group emails, as that would now be the chosen way to communicate with the group. I was okay with that.

Okay, that is, until I learned a few months after that there had been a reception for the group - a group of volunteers - and, believe it or not, I had not got wind of it! (Where's the sarcasm font on this thing?) Silly wabbit. I was of the impression that the recognition and appreciation of volunteers would spur the organizers to seek us out - all emails were still available - to shower us with love and appreciation. Then I reminded myself that that was something I would have done. And, a few other people I know would have done that, too. But, alas, I had not made it easy for them to reach me, having sought and received removal from the G+ list.

Months came and went. I enquired about upcoming volunteering opportunities. I was reminded that I had requested removal from the list (in case I'd forgotten, I s'pose) but was also told I could send an email to find out whether extra help was needed on any given weekend. I agreed to that.

Finally, I had a free weekend - no fighting a cold; no entertaining out-of-towners, etc. - and I considered sending an email. Gotta say, I thought long and hard. I had reservations about doing it. But, I had no excuse to opt out that weekend. In my mind, I imagined they must've decided to teach me a lesson - our way with G+ or else! Also, what if I volunteered and they sent back to say they were already full - because people from "the list" (that stupid list, again!) had already signed up. And, if so, would I have to relent and join the (stupid) list?!

Of course, that's what your mind does. All sorts of negative thoughts, or, as Desiderata calls them, "dark imaginings" take over if you let 'em. Coupled with those "what ifs" was the chiding I gave myself. Was I volunteering to be recognized and shown appreciation, or was I volunteering out of a heart to serve? Welllllll, on that note, I was properly admonished. I sent the email.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I received a quick reply that "that would be GREAT" and "thank you SO MUCH." I was like, whoaah! Guess they need the help. But, what was more, was that I felt this amazing sense of triumph! I felt like I'd pushed the devil off one shoulder, and gave a high-five to the angel on the other!

The volunteers who worked the shift before mine were overjoyed when I got there. They were royally pooped! I immediately got to work in preparing what needed to be prepared. As promised, I checked back in sometime after and helped another volunteer with cleaning up.

There's no denying it. Sometimes the right thing to do isn't always the easiest (or most comfortable) thing to do. But, it pays off. And, when it comes to giving, as that little girl had said after giving out toys for Christmas, "It gives you a warm feeling in your tummy!"



Claudia
www.cyopro.com
www.twitter.com/cyopro



Friday, 28 November 2014

Two Feelings - They Don't Mix


This past summer, sis and I were with our then 5yo niece as we headed to my home for a Girls' Night. Pulling her lil carry-on beside us, I noticed she didn't seem her usually excited self. I asked her what was up.
"I'm happy and I'm sad," she said.
"Oh. So, mixed feelings?" I asked.
"No. Two feelings," she replied in a beat.

Sis later made a joke about that moment, saying Kiki was very clear about her feelings; that "they don't mix." Lol!

I thought of that moment sometime earlier this week. It came to mind shortly after the Grand Jury's decision on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson was announced. Wilson was not (even) indicted for the August 9, 2014 killing of Michael Brown.

Much has been written about this, including: how the prosecutor's statement sounded more like a defence of the officer; the theories behind waiting until late evening to make the announcement, and so on. A quick Google search will reveal tonnes of articles.

My two cents' on it is about my two feelings - unmixed - that came after the announcements and the protests.

There will always be racism, as long as people exist.

We should not give up advocating for respect and justice for Blacks. Black Lives Matter - as the recent online and offline campaigns remind. Yes. Strides are being made.

Black people in America are hurting like crazy; it's like a wound that doesn't heal. I've said it in another space (in writings of yesteryear) and I might write about it some other time in this space. I am sensitive to the racial tension that exists in the USA. But, it is not my lived experience. My experience, growing up in Jamaica, has entailed run-ins with colourism. But, more anon.

On the first point, I believe people have their biases and prejudices. Generations to come will have biases and prejudices. There is something inherent in some human beings that, for some reason, makes them believe they are better than others in some way. It may concern race; complexion; social status; money... And, people don't change. I've heard my dad with this Jamaican saying: What born inna kid, dead inna goat. Another 50 years from this, there will still be run-ins between Black people and white officers in America. There will always be that officer. Laws, policies, protocols, etc., hopefully, may allow for greater accountability and for justice to be done - and to be seen to be done. I saw a picture on Twitter shortly after the shooting occurred in Ferguson in August. (Pardon the language, btw.) For me, it sums up the feeling of frustration and yet, an acknowledgement, that the fight doesn't end, only the fighters change.

(Pic via Twitter. Happy to give credit. If you own this pic and wish it removed, please let me know.)

And that's where the second feeling comes in. The fight, the advocacy, the campaigns and awareness-raising must continue. Because they do make a difference. Blacks - and the general consciousness of racial injustices - have come a long way since the 1960s. I wrote a piece along those lines during my early days on this blog, shortly after the announcement of President Obama's first win. A cursory glance would reveal that much has changed since the '60s - for the better. And, 50 years from this, much will have changed - for the better.

In a real sense, it is a realization of that truism: The more things change, the more they remain the same.



Claudia
www.cyopro.com
www.twitter.com/cyopro


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Freak Out...Then Figure It Out


About a year or so ago, a sis and I were having a conversation about a new opportunity. It was not a hand-in-glove fit, but that did not make it any less desirable. My advice was to say yes. After all, strengths, transferable skills, and experience would help her be good at it in no time. I shared with her my approach:
  • Say yes to the opportunity. 
  • Freak out about how daunting it looks. 
  • Figure out how to do the task. 
Here's the thing: You don't want a great opportunity to pass you by, all for the sake of lacking a bit of experience in a particular area. If you pass that up, thinking there's no use going after it, you'd have done yourself a disservice. Go for it. Let the recruiters/selectors decide. If your résumé, or a contact, gets you an interview/meeting, make the best of it. Don't keep yourself off the list when, had you tried, you would've made the shortlist - and likely got hired/selected.

Funny, but, some months after the conversation with sis, I saw a quote by Richard Branson making the rounds on social media. It was, essentially, the same message. Given that I had shared my approach with sis long before I got wind of his quote, I have no reservations about expounding on what I shared with her here.

I'm not shy when it comes to networking, nor about letting the right people know I'm on the lookout for something new. There have been people who've given me a heads-up about new opportunities, simply because I was top of mind when the news landed on their desk - because they knew I had an interest. Additionally, along the way, I've participated in mentorship programs - as mentor and mentee. In these professional relationships, the terms of engagement are made clear at the outset. Whatever they may be, as a mentee, I never lose sight of one thing: I have a responsibility to honour the time and effort my mentor puts in. It may come in the form of making time in a busy schedule to have a chat over coffee/hot chocolate. Or, it may be in the form of helping me make connections. So, even if I feel under the weather when that email comes in - "I got you 20 minutes with so-and-so. Schedule something with her Admin." - my immediate response is stteo: "Great! Thank you! I'm on it!" And, I get on it. Right away. I can always climb out from under the weather later. I respect my time, too. So, I have to ensure my preparation (research pre-meeting) and execution time is not wasted.

There have been lessons along my career path. For sure. I remember there was a time when I used to allow awful co-workers or bosses to ruffle my feathers. But, I later learned a precious gem from a manager who was as frank as she was brilliant. "Claudia," she said, "I just tell myself I'm not taking them home with me." That became a mantra for me. Since then, co-workers and I live happily ever after. Well, not exactly. But, close enough. :-) So, lessons, yes. But strides and triumphs have been far more and far greater. My journey has been blessed.

In a nutshell, this is how I've been moving along the path:
  • Pray.
  • Seek a new opportunity. (This includes networking.)
  • Give thanks for closed doors. (There's something to learn from every interview.)
  • Be ready for open doors. (Can't pray for rain then leave your umbrella - ella - ella...) :-)
  • Accept the challenge. 
  • Freak out! (If need be. Even phone a friend and share the adrenaline.)
  • Work hard and figure it out.
  • Excel.
  • Give thanks.
What's sometimes surprising is how others see you (doing a great job) vs. how you see yourself. There's a thin line between confidence and hubris, but, it's good to believe in yourself. No use in playing small. Shine. Your light will help others. I've learned that, too.

One of my favourite Monk lines is from Mr. Monk Meets His Dad. He was trying to convince his dad that his boss was "The guy." His father wasn't buying it. Monk looked him in the eye and asserted that he's a detective. "It's my job, and I'm good at it."

Love that.


Claudia
www.cyopro.com
www.twitter.com/cyopro




Saturday, 8 November 2014

Some Writing Should Not Be Read


Some writing should not be read. That's a pretty forward statement for a writer to make. It is also a conclusion that comes weighted with much thought and second guesses. For, after all, aren't all writers on a journey? Each travelling a path which, although similar in some ways, is very different in others? The struggle is similar; the struggle is subjective; the struggle is real.

Given the uniqueness of the journey, and the fact that each of us faces the next step for the first time, our readers understand that we are prone to errors. We don't always strike the right note. And, if it's one thing that every writer comes to find out, it is this: Words are powerful beings. They take on a life of their own. They cut; they heal; they hurt; they mend; they build; they destroy. And when you think you're finally over them, a familiar scent can bring memories of words spoken - and how - rushing back, unheralded and unhindered. There will be blood. Yes, things will sometimes get real messy up in here.

But, while we understand the limitations and ramifications of words uttered and media used, we do not have to subject ourselves to crap. And I'm not talking about the saying, "Bad writing is contagious." I don't know about you, but I have to be careful about what I take into my system.Things have a way of...lingering, for better or for worse. So, if I simply get wind that a piece of writing is crap (not crappy - I trust you to infer the difference), I stay away from it.

To me, writing that puts some persons up only by putting others down; that makes a person question their value and self-worth and feel they're sorely lacking; that reinforces the notion that one group is better than another, is not the kind of writing that should be fed upon. It gets into the psyche and...and does things - ugly things. Quite simply, it may leave someone feeling that they are not good enough; that the quality of life they heretofore enjoyed is, all of a sudden, not up to par. I've written before about people making different choices and doing what makes them happy - Squeezing Life Out of Life. What they do and how they define success and perfection will very often not be the same as someone else's. One of my grandmothers used to say, "Everybody pot nuh boil at the same time." We will not all get what we desire at the same time. As a matter of fact, given our differences as...oooh, I dunno, human beings? We do not all have the same ingredients cooking in our pots. And, to boot, it bears recalling that tastes do differ. Imagine yourself coming to my house and telling me that the delicious spread I've spent all day preparing is not...'ow you saaay? (French accent) ideal, because it does not resemble my neighbour's? The struggle is real for everybody. And, if the struggle is subjective, then, so too, is the definition of success.

What really saddens me is there are those with much influence - well, if you can call it that, in a small pond where the little fish thinks he's a shark - who are looked upon as thought leaders. (A moment of silence as we let that sink in.) It is neither fair, nor right, for young minds to be subjected to, and shaped by, writers and spewers of ideas who translate and transfer their insecurities into words on a page to be consumed as truth by the malleable. Ideas that feed divisiveness; that drive a wedge between haves and have-nots; that cause young minds and hearts to feel they've failed even before they've begun, and slap the cheeks of unsung heroes, are unwelcome 'round these parts.

When it comes right down to it, are we too busy brown-nosing, or trying to be validated by someone, or serving the Kingdom of Me - population One? Or are we performing the random acts of kindness, or helping someone who can't repay us, or hugging a child, or stopping to smell the roses...? You know, like gems we love to post in our Social Media fiefdoms.

Sigh. We don't always get it right. But, I really believe it is important to try to make a positive difference. Like that quote by Woodrow Wilson says, "We are not here merely to make a living, but to enrich the world with a finer spirit of hope and achievement and we impoverish ourselves if we forget the errand."



Claudia
www.cyopro.com
www.twitter.com/cyopro



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

*Side-Eye Jamaica*


Res Ipsa Loquitur: The thing speaks for itself.



David Cameron was plunged into a double crisis on Saturday after one of his ministers resigned over a sex scandal and another MP defected to Ukip.

On the eve of the Conservative Party’s final conference before next year’s election, Brooks Newmark quit as Minister for Civil Society after he was caught sending an explicit photograph of himself over the internet.

Sources told The Telegraph that Mr Newmark had sent the pictures to someone he believed was a woman using a social networking website, as part of a tabloid newspaper sting operation.

In a statement, Mr Newmark said: "I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper.

“I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time. I remain a loyal supporter of this Government as its long term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people."


The married father of five, added that he was "so sorry”, after the scandal came to light.



Taiwan's Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta has resigned over a food safety scare that has gripped the island after hundreds of tonnes of products made with "gutter oil" were removed from sale.

Chiu had repeatedly offered to step down after the tainted oil case surfaced last month, and his resignation was finally approved by Premier Jiang Yi-huah late Friday (Oct 3), a cabinet statement said. He is the third minister to have stepped down in recent months. Economic affairs minister Chang Chia-juch resigned over fatal gas blasts in August, while education minister Chiang Wei-ling quit in July after he was implicated in an academic scandal.

Chiu's resignation came as prosecutors on Friday indicted Yeh Wen-hsiang, chairman of Chang Guann Co., on 235 accounts of fraud and food safety violations for selling hundreds of tonnes of "gutter oil" to food companies, bakeries and restaurants. Three people, including the manager of an unlicensed factory that supplied the firm, were indicted for the same offences while four others were charged with violating waste disposal law, prosecutors said.



South Korea's prime minister announced his resignation Sunday morning, taking responsibility for the slow initial reaction to a ferry's sinking that has left nearly 200 dead and scores more still missing.

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won explained his decision on national television. He apologized "on behalf of the government for the many problems that arose during the first response and the subsequent rescue operation," in addition to "problems that existed before the accident."
"During the search process, the government took inadequate measures and disappointed the public," Chung said. "I should take responsibility for everything as the prime minister, but the government can assume no more. So I will resign as prime minister."

Chung urged South Koreans to stand united, rather than divided.

"This is not the time for blaming each other but for finishing the rescue operation and dealing with the accident," he said. "In order to get over these difficult times, I ask the citizens for help."

Chung becomes the highest-profile public figure to fall after the April 16 capsizing of the Sewol ferry that carried more than 300 South Korean high school students. Many in the country have lambasted the government's response to the disaster. 



Downing Street said there was "no suggestion that Mr Harper knowingly employed an illegal immigrant", but Prime Minister David Cameron "accepted his resignation with regret".

The Forest of Dean MP made the decision after being told the cleaner for his London flat did not have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

He admitted he "should have checked more thoroughly" that the documents provided to him when he took her on in 2007 were genuine - a copy of her passport and a Home Office letter which said she was allowed to stay.

Mr Harper decided against checking her status twice after that - when he was appointed a Cabinet Office minister in 2010 and after being named immigration minister two years ago.

The former minister said he thought it was "prudent" to check her status again last year as the Immigration Bill was going through Parliament.

The legislation doubles the fines for employers who take on illegal immigrants without proper checks.



Gabon's education minister has resigned due to a scandal after hundreds of students failed the country's high-school exams, local media reported on Monday, AFB reports.

Prime Minister Daniel Ona Ondo "acknowledges the resignation of the Minister of Education and Technical Education, Leon Nzouba," said government spokeswoman Denise Mekamne.

Nzouba is the first Gabonese minister to step down from office in almost 20 years.

He was heavily criticised for his handling of a dispute involving 900 students who were deemed to have failed their high-school exams but who challenged their grades.

The students claim to have been penalised by recent reforms meaning their marks obtained during previous years no longer count towards the final exam result.

Nzouba initially awarded the students with the qualification following protests, before changing his mind.

The former minister was pictured in August on his knees in front of protesting students, an image that made the rounds on social media and sparked public ridicule for Nzouba.



Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis abruptly resigned Wednesday, saying he was taking “political responsibility” for a supermarket collapse that killed more than 50 people last week and caused outrage in the small Baltic nation.

Dombrovskis, who took office at the height of the European economic crisis in 2009, told reporters that the country needs a new, broad-based government that will have the support of Parliament.

"I wish to thank Latvia's society for support during the trying period when the country was battling the economic and financial crisis to return to the path of growth,” Dombrovskis was quoted as saying by the Latvian news agency LETA. “I also apologize for all that we have failed to achieve."

At least 54 people, including three firefighters, were killed and dozens injured in the Nov. 21 collapse at a Maxima supermarket in the Zolitude neighborhood of the capital, Riga. First, part of the roof caved in, then a wall came crashing down as rescue teams worked at the scene.

According to local news reports, it was the largest loss of life since Latvia declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.



Three ministers from the autonomous Greenland of Denmark resigned on Wednesday amid a misconduct scandal surrounding the island's government leader, Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond.

The Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Jens-Erik Kirkegaard and the Education and Culture Minister Nick Nielsen, both from Hammond's social democratic Siumut party, announced their resignations while the prime minister is investigated for allegedly misusing 106,363 kroner of public funds for private use.

Hammond narrowly escaped a vote of no confidence on Tuesday and lawmakers granted her temporary leave.

The liberal Atassut party, without which the government lacks a parliamentary majority, said it would also leave the coalition and called for fresh elections.

The party's health and infrastructure minister, Steen Lynge, announced his resignation earlier on Wednesday.

A report from the Greenlandic parliament's audit committee on Friday said the prime minister had used public fund to pay for airline tickets for herself and hotel costs for her family.



France's new trade minister Thomas Thévenoud was forced to resign Thursday because of "problems with his taxes", a government source confirmed, in a new blow to embattled President François Hollande.
The socialist deputy was only appointed less than a fortnight ago in a reshuffle after a revolt over austerity measures threw the French government into crisis.

A government source told AFP that he stepped down after admitting he had a "problem about the declaration of his taxes... he has not resigned because of any political disagreement".

The resignation has uncomfortable echoes of the so-called Cahuzac affair, when Hollande's budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac was sacked in March 2013 after he was accused of evading tax using non-declared Swiss bank accounts.



Indonesia's energy minister stepped down on Friday, a presidential spokesman said, after anti-corruption officials named him a suspect in the latest graft case to embarrass the president's fractured Democratic Party.

Mr Jero Wacik resigned as minister for energy and natural mineral resources after officials accused him of raking in almost 10 billion rupiah (S$1.1 million) for his ministry's budget through illegal means.

Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) officials named Mr Wacik a suspect on Wednesday, saying he had collected kickbacks and claimed money for arranging fictitious meetings. They accused him of extorting state funds and abuse of power.

"The letter of resignation was received by the President this morning. Perhaps he will appoint someone to fill in as an interim energy minister," presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha told reporters. Mr Wacik has neither admitted nor denied the accusations, saying only that he would respect the legal process.



Haderthauer, a Christian Social Union (CSU) state minister, is under investigation after a business partner accused her of cheating him out of tens of thousands of euros and has been facing down calls to resign for weeks.

Although the case didn't oblige her to resign, she said at a hastily-called press conference in Munich “that my office and the political themes that go with it would be totally overwhelmed after my experience with all the public press coverage in recent weeks”.

Haderthauer and her husband Hubert were partners with Frenchman Roger Ponton in Sapor Model Engineering. The company sold model cars built in prison by criminals under treatment by psychiatrists, including a man, Roland S., convicted of three sex murders.



Just a week after NSW Premier Kristina Keneally put her MPs on notice about bad behaviour, Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay has resigned over a sex and gambling internet scandal.

Mr McLeay was forced to quit the frontbench on Wednesday after admitting to using a parliamentary computer to access gambling and adult websites - making him the fourth Keneally minister to leave cabinet this year.

"Some people may choose to undertake similar activities in their personal lives, but I cannot condone the use of parliamentary resources by a minister in this way." - Keneally

In an uncomfortable, 11-minute media conference outside Parliament House, the married father of two admitted being humiliated and embarrassed by the revelations.

He apologised to his colleagues for further denting their chances at the March 2011 state election, saying his behaviour was not of the standard expected of cabinet ministers.


Breton was already in hot water over his alleged intimidation of government employees. But on Wednesday it came to light that he had $8,000 in unpaid rent, had been convicted of employment insurance cheating and had speeding violations, one which saw him clocked at 275 km.hr.

Some of Breton’s infractions dated back 25 years, but whether they should factor into how he’d perform now as a cabinet minister has become academic. Breton has resigned from cabinet.

Given that resignation, the fact the Charbonneau inquiry was able to learn this week just how many politicians were having lunch with how many construction bosses at Club 357 and the fact nobody can do anything without its being tweeted seconds afterward, a question needs to be asked:

Are we in the process of witnessing a transformation of the political landscape? One where the theory of being a model of virtue and probity is now being brutally turned into practice?

Simply put, are we witnessing a raising of the bar for political conduct? And if so, how can the political establishment react?

Yes, I'm looking at you, Jamaica.


Claudia

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Think of This As Practice


Today is Kiki's birthday. She's now Six. We rolled into the day on the back of a Girls' Night. Now, our day started at six o' clock. As in, one hour after five o' clock. On a Saturday. Morning.

We read. We talked. We made room for her animated two-year-old brother. Sis and I entertained.

Then, out of nowhere, Kiki advised, "This is what happens when you get married and have children! Mmhm. Like what's happening with your nephew." As sis and I cracked up, she continued, "You can think of this as practice!"

Lol! This child.


Claudia
www.cyopro.com
www.twitter.com/cyopro