Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just Another Busy Day in Paradise

Todays blog covers the last few days. I took Friday off as I had a lot of personal stuff to get done. This meant working Saturday. It was the first Saturday I had worked in a long time and was kept hopping. At 08:30 I got a call from the police dispatcher asking if I could meet some officers and the south entrance to the mall parkade. I asked if he could tell me why and was told that they would explain. When I got there I found a raised camper van with the front half of the roof missing and the clearance sign at the entrance hanging from one end of its bracket. It was a 4" pipeand hung on some heavy metal brackets. I guess the police were chasing a stolen vehicle and the thieves turned into the parkade to try to avoid the police like they do in the movies. Didn't work.

I was just getting through with them and I got a call about a shoplifter. As I was going through the mall I saw the store manager following a female and indicating that was her shoplifter. I stopped the lady and told her I had a complaint about a shoplifter and asked her to open her bags. She said she had bought everything and refused. I told her she could do it voluntarily or come to my office and do it for the police. She then opened her bag. The only thing in the bag that she had paid for was a scarf. She had 5 blouses in the bag and was wearing 3 coats. Total came to about $500. I arrested her and was taking her to the security office. When we go close to the mall entrance she told me to take a flying leap at a rolling donut and going to leave. I grabbed her and told her she was coming to the office. She said she would sit on the bench inside the mall entrance and wait. She walked to the bench and as soon as I let go of her she tried to leave again. I was on my cell to the police at this time and dropped it as I was struggling with her. The store manager picked it up and continued to talk to the dispatcher and tell what was going on. I finally took the lady down to the floor and pinned her arms under her. She continued to fight. While she was down she told me she was on the way to the hospital for major surgery and was going to be late (On a Saturday. Yeah right.), she had just gotten out of the hospital from major surgery and that I was going to break open her stitches, she had mumps and she hoped I was going to get them, she had hepatitis and I was going to get it and started all over again. She also told me that she was going to charge me with assault, bodily harm, sexual assault, abuse and about a dozen other things. As soon as the police arrived she became the model citizen and answered all their questions and did everything they asked. She even gave up a pair of pants that she had layered over her jeans. The 2 officers were the 2 I was dealing with at the other end of the mall. That and the paper work took me to 12:30. The last 3 hours of the day were boring and I had to find things to keep me busy and awake.

Sunday was church. I went by myself as Sharon had to work.

Monday was a statutory holiday here (Family Day) and I decided to work it. I had to be at the mall at 6:00 to open up one set of doors for the gym in the mall and did not have to open the rest until 11:30. So it was just me and the muzak until noon. I got a call from one of the other commissionairs I knew that was also working asking me if I had read the paper yet. It seems that one of the "misunderstood residents of the downtown core" had passed away "suddenly " surrounded by his family and friends while visiting family in Standoff on the reserve west of town. I saw his significant other staggering though the mall a little later and reminded her that she was not really welcome there. She muttered something about looking for someone and left. She usually talks to me and tells me her problems and why she should be allowed to stay but that time. I was amazed that she was there because in the paper it said she was at his side. I was going to say something else here but it would sound a little callus and uncaring. It is almost impossible not to become a little prejudgist when deal with the people I have to every day.

Tuesday was just another day in paradise. One of my staff members called me and asked if he could come in to talk to me. I said sure any time. When he arrived he announced that he had just taken a position with the company that was replacing us in the mall. He was hired to train the group that was coming in and then going to the other mall and working there for them. He asked if it would be a problem if he stayed until the end of the month. I could see any but would call Bob our general manager here in town and ask him. Bob said no and wished him the best of luck and made sure that it was understood that once he left he couldn't come back.

We also looked after both Makynna and Oriyn last night for the first time. It was a blast and we thoroughly enjoyed. I still wish I had half as much energy as Kynna and Oryn was just a sweetheart. Grandma enjoyed herself and loved her cuddle time with Oryn.

Today was busy. They were doing the annual fire alarm testing and I spent most of the day letting the alarm people into rooms and relocking them as they left. I was also approached by one of the ladies that works in the tower and asked if the rumor was true that we were no longer doing security in the mall. I answered that as of midnight on the 29th we were being replaced. She asked by what firm and I told her. Her reply was a sarcastic "Thank you. You just made me feel real safe." She then went on to say she was sorry to see me and my staff leave. She was impressed with the changes for the better that had taken place since I had taken over late in 2006. She wished me luck in my "new" old posting at the airport. This is the type of comment that I have been getting the last week from almost everyone. I makes me feel good.

The politics are heating up here in good old Alberta as we are getting into the last couple of weeks of the campaign in the provincial election. The more I read and hear the more I become less and less impressed with the Conservatives (the ruling party). It seems their idea of planning for our future is to throw money at a problem without really saying how it is to be spent or how they came up with the amount. One of the promises is to put another 100 police officers on the streets of the cities of Alberta. I am not sure how they are going to do this as policing is a municipally controlled funded matter not a provincial one. In health care they are going to reduce waiting times in the ER's and for surgery with out telling us how or how much. They are also going to hire more doctor's but not saying where they are going to find them. They are making it easier for business to bring in foreign temporary workers to help fill the shortage of staff right now but not saying what they are going to do with them once the need is filled or they are no longer needed or wanted by the businesses. I have no problem with bringing in trained/skilled immigrants to fill a need but not unskilled labour that will only be employed for a short time and then laid off before they become permanent staff. The government has also refused to stand up to the petroleum industry by backing down on the recommendations of a committee that they put together to come up with revisions to the oil and gas royalties. They have not collected over 1 billion dollars over the last few years because of Alberta having one of the lowest royal schedules in the world and a still giving the oil companies several years before they implement some of the recommendations to help them through "these tough times that the oil and gas industry is facing right now."

Enough or I will be writing all night and can feel myself starting to rant. I will close now. 4:30 comes early. Until next time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

Yesterday Sharon and I went out for the first time in 4 months. The Chinook Arch District of the Masons had their 1st annual Valentines Dinner. It was held in Claresholm, about 45 minutes from Lethbridge. The meal consisted of slow smoked prime rib, baby potatoes, a spring vegetable medley, cole slaw, a spring garden salad, Yorkshire pudding, auju, and strawberry short cake for desert. Y-U-M-M-I-E. We sat with some old (in more ways that one) friends from Stavely and in conversation found they knew Great Grandma Simmons' family. The entertainment was great. A young fellow from Vulcan sang. We were told he auditioned for and sang briefly with the Vienna Boy's Choir. He is now going to Mount Royal College in their voice and fine arts program. He is just 13. The group from Vulcan then put on a skit called "Are You Smarted Than A Farmer?" It was hilarious. As one of the contestants called from the audience put it "The only thing these 3 farmers can raise is some pretty bad corn." The three farmers were Merv - a retired teacher that bought a small farm when he retired "because I thought that any one could farm.", Zeke - a rather radical hold over from the United Farmers Union (an old defunct political party here in Alberta) and Jake - he is the almost cattle boss at The Best Colony. Its named that because "it is the best dang Colony in Alberta." Their answers were hilarious and corny. All in all it was the best evening we have had out in long, long time.

Good Food. Good Friends. Good Conversation. Good Times. What more could you ask for a Valentine's date.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to a new job site I go.

Today we had a staff meeting with the Lethbridge office manager. Our contract with the Lethbridge Centre Mall was not renewed. I have known for about 3 weeks now but couldn't say anything. It wasn't that the mall management wasn't unhappy with the Corps. In fact they were extremely pleased. The new owners found economically expedient to change. They are associated with the other 2 malls in town and one of the major hotels. These 3 use another security company and they feel it is easier to write one check than 2. I hope it works for them.

My 2 staff were a little concerned until they were told that they already had new job sites and that they were going to be making at least $1.70 an hour more and that they were going to be starting before they left the mall. When they were told this and where they were going, OT lights were flashing in their eyes. They weren't told where I was going but I was told last week that I would be going back to the Airport and on my days off from there I would be working parking detail down town. Hey any time someone wants to pay me $12.00 an hour to walk in the fresh air and sunshine I'll take it. (okay its -5C right now and it snowed today but hey this is Lethbridge. Tomorrow its supposed to be +5 and sunny) The pay is pretty much what I am getting now but there are a few more hours without working to many, if any, more days. It just means that I will be working the occasional Sunday.

Had my second appointment with the Blood Pressure lady today and another round of blood test. Should just go to the blood clinic and get them to draw a pint and give it to the lab and tell them to use it if they need more. She was happy with the way things seem to be going. A little confused because again my BP at the start of the appointment was different than at the start. This time it was the reverse with it being lower at the start and higher at the finish. Oh well, we will eventually get things straightened out. Still looking forward to my first appointment with the endocrinologist in March. Hopefully he has some insight as to what is wrong.

Nothing political to report this time. Maybe next time. Just to keep you in suspense.

Monday, February 11, 2008

May you live in interesting times...

This has been an interesting year so far. My grandchildren were tested for every thing from leukemia to to lactose intolerance. Tank goodness all their tests were negative.

Now its my turn. I went into see my doctor about a follow up to a training injury. I tore the tendon that is attached to the last section of my ring finger. I was complaining about no energy. He said that it was time I had a complete physical so he ordered some blood tests. Two days later I got a call from his nurse says that I now had another appointment and not to miss it. I have a liver that is producing things it shouldn't and not producing things it should. The same goes for the pituitary gland. The blood tests also show almost no testosterone in the system either. My blood pressure is all over the place and my heart can't decide if it is going to beat at its normal 60 beats per minute or 150 beats. This poses a problem. My doctor doesn't want me to do any strenuous exercise. The 10 to 15,000 paces I walk at work are fine as is no more than 10 minutes on an elliptical machine and not at a high aerobic rate. This meant that a dream that I have had had to be put on hold. I had to close the Dojo at the end of January.

I have had more blood taken from me than being the main course at a vampires convention. The good thing is I started the first round of appointment with the specialist last week. It was the blood pressure expert at the clinic. This is the first of about a half dozen visits with her. After about an hour interview she came to the same conclusion that my kids did. This isn't much that I can change in my life style. She gave me some guidelines to fine tune my diet and that is about all. When I started the appointment my BP was 141 over 97. When I left it was 132 over 81. The first was high the second was just above normal for someone my age. The weight and waste size she said that I should be at according to the charts are the same as I was when I was 18 and in school. Both of us don't think that is going to happen. I told her that I had lost about 10 pounds over the last couple of months. She said that was the right direction and to keep at it. Thus the fine tuning in diet.

The next round of appointments is with the endocrinologist on the 6th of March. When I am through with him I am probably off to the internist to check the liver etc out. I am not worried yet as my doctor didn't seem to be overly concerned... yet. As Pres Hinckley often said "Don't worry. It will work out."

Until next time. Maybe a little about my political views then. We are in the middle of a provincial election here. And then again maybe not.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Starting a Learning Process

Today I finally decided I would start a blog. It will be learning process as this is the first attempt at internet publishing I have tried. Bear with me as I go. I hope to leave my thought and happening for those who read it so that they may better understand me and my life. Hope you enjoy it and get something from it.