Showing posts from 2020

You can bounce back...

 No matter what you are going through, no matter how bad it is, know that the ability to bounce back is within you. You just have to give yourself the time, and get yourself in the mindset, to be ready to bounce back.

Back to school is almost here...

In spite of all the social distancing and limiting human contact, to avoid the spread of the pandemic, there is one element of this pandemic that I am thankful about. And that is the enormous amount of quality time (even in small micro-moments), which we were able to spend with our children.  As a father, who did not take the opportunity to take paternity leave which was available through my employer at the time, I always felt that I should've taken it when I had the chance. However, the pandemic gave me that opportunity, which I am grateful and thankful to have. During this time, we (all four of us!) got to spend a lot of time entertaining our kids, and being entertained by them. We explored new board games, learned to build circuits, do small projects around the house together and spend quality time, together, as a family! Soon they will be headed back to school, in a very different environment, and they will need the support structure at home to help them cope with changes they

Certifications - PSM

My personal belief has always been that mastery and credibility comes from actions, not from a piece of paper. I've always felt that getting "certifications" is not the best way to learn and achieve excellence. That all changed over the last 10 years that I've been involved in delivery of Agile projects, both as a Technical Lead as well an Architect. Scrum, and more specifically, the principles defined by the manifesto, have given me a really good perspective. Having practiced in over the last 7 out of 10 years, I finally decided to take the plunge and secure the PSM 1 certification. I plan on continuing to gain practical experience, followed by certification as a way to verify and validate for myself the practical learning and mastery achieved through continuous improvement and growth.

Ontario's beautiful wine country

The year 2020 marks our 10-year wedding anniversary. Like all of you, we had great plans for this summer to celebrate this milestone in a memorable way. That plan changed and was postponed. Instead, we decided to venture out on a mini-vacation of ours in the beautiful Niagara Wine Country, to spend a few days away from kids, work and generally any grown-up responsibility. Keeping physical distancing and recommended precautions in mind, the six of us ventured out with a set itinerary which took us on a self-guided bike tour of three wineries ( Marynissen , Lailey and ReviewView ), a picnic lunch of our own at one of the wineries, mixed with some quality time with friends who have been our small close group that have maintained isolation during this pandemic. The bike's we rented were provided by Tour de Vine , who have a pre-arranged package that includes bike rentals and the wine tasting costs and reservations at each of the three wineries. Out of the three wineries, both Maryniss

Longrow Single Malt Whisky

Whisky (Scotch) has been a beverage I've come to appreciate a lot over the last 10 years and I've always made an effort to try new ones. As recent  as last week, Longrow has become my new favourite peaty scotch.

Morning starts are best when paired with...

This pandemic is here to stay, for a while. For as long as it is here, there are a lot of lessons and learning which we can take away from it. Being prepared as a society, nation and economy, to being prepared physically, mentally and emotionally as individuals, to muster up the necessary strength to push through each day; Support our family, loved one's and friends. And to play our part in insuring that we are not passing the contagion along to others. I have to admit that the past few months have been a bit of a challenge. Who am I kidding, they aren't a challenge, they've been the toughest to endure. The months of March and April, were the easing in phase of the pandemic. May and June, for me were the toughest. It was not until July and now August, that I have come to adjust to this situation. The biggest adjustment that I've had to make is to give myself permission to start the day with the two most important things. First, is being grateful to have a great wife, an

The defending NBA champions are back!

Those of you know me, know that I am a die hard Raptors fan. And I am super stoked to have the Raptors, our 2019 Defending Champions, back in action in Orlando (bubble or not). Doing what they do best. Proving themselves, despite the challenges, they are out there to make believers out of the same nay-sayers who ruled them out in 2019.

The unofficial end of summer?

Today being August 1st, it feels like the unofficial end of summer is almost here. The summer came and passed by, and even with this pandemic around us, I hope that most of you out there made the best use of the warm (and often wet) weather. For me, the start of August, is a trigger point to make the most out of the next 30 days, before it's time for kids to get back to school. With the pandemic, it will be a very different back-to-school experience, with a lot of nervous parents (and kids) out there. Don't stress, we will all get through this. But for now, I would like to remind you all to make the most out of the next 30 days. Go outside, enjoy the long weekend (for Canadians). Even with the thunderstorm in forecast for Sunday (August 2nd), go out there and get wet in the rain, with your kids, or without them. Be thankful and grateful, that your family, and loved ones are safe and sound. For those of you who are nervous, it's ok to be nervous. Just step out and relax and

Close up!

This friendly little bird came over (in June) and decided to hang out on our patio railing, giving me a great opportunity to snap a few pictures up close. It must've stayed in this spot for over 10 minutes, finally making its way over to the neighbours railing, when I approached a little too close to its liking.

Natural beauty of Oakville

The one great thing about living in Oakville, is the abundant access to natural habitats in and around the city, which are accessible on foot and on a bicycle. This forest near the Sixteen Mile Creek, is my go to place for a bicycle ride. It's a peaceful place filled with tall trees, down into the valley beside the creek.

Simple pleasures, thanks to the pandemic

The pandemic has caused a havoc for all of us, with the change in work-life style, for parents with kids, it's an even greater challenge. But the one thing I've enjoyed during this time is the simple pleasure of being able to play a game with my kids without feeling guilty about it. After all they ( the kids ), during this time of isolation, need us just as much as we need them. Another simple pleasure is to have the kids come over and give you a hug, right after you get off a conference call, which you wouldn't have been able to do in the office. Enjoy it, cherish it, while it lasts. I will.

Starting the day with a 12km ride

It is a great feeling to begin the day by accomplishing something, no matter how small or big. What the pandemic has taught me, is to become even more serious in taking care of my body and mental health. With that goal in mind, this morning me (and Kris) finished our usual 12k ride a record 40 minutes, compared to our usual 45 minutes. There is a down / up-hill on the way back, which normally would knock the wind out of me, but this time around it was a breeze to get up. Here's to small daily successes, which come after weeks of practice.

Lake Ontario in Oakville

Today was a really hot day, but being by the calm waters of Lake Ontario (in Oakville) was pleasant and relaxing. While both of my kids were too busy searching for perfectly round shaped rocks, this colorful boat caught my eye. The sounds of the small waves hitting the boat, a relatively cool breeze hitting your body, while you are relaxing in the boat, must be nice. Eventually, the boat disappeared towards the far west, my kids ended up finding a perfectly round stone (which they designed to bring back home - likely weighs about 5lbs), and back home we went to cool off in the manufactured air. 

Starting over...

Over the last few years, I've tried my level best to become regular at writing. But have also found myself not setting aside time to do it, or use "life" and "work" as excuses. The last few months, with the lockdown in place, and a lot more time to think, I've decided to start all over again. Sometimes a restart is all that is required to establish new routines. Here is to a new start.