A Shocking Tale…

Motor Control Centre

I became fascinated by electricity when I was a child and tried to understand it. It started with me plugging some Christmas lights that our dog had chewed up. In those days the lights were run in series and if one light went out they all went out. Full voltage and current fed through each light.

What happened was…

Our dog chewed up the string of lights. His teeth cut through the insulation and exposed the copper wire. In many places the copper connected with copper from different sections of the wire. I plugged in the string of lights and was thrown across the room by the electrical shock. The sparks from the open wiring speckled me with little black dots. The current coursing through my little body hurt.

When I was 17 I joined the Canadian Navy as a Marine Electrician. It was a fantastic career because of what I learned about electricity and because I got paid to learn. I enjoyed working on the ships. The logic of fixing and maintaining the different electrical systems was challenging.

I left the Navy after 12 years but stayed with ships and worked as an electrician in the dockyard. We were getting the last ship ready to head off to the first Gulf War. On the last day I was working in an awkward position and hurt my back. The pain of the injury was nothing like the pain of hearing the doctor say over a year later “You can’t be an electrician any more.”

I had to change careers but in all the different things I did I always felt a pull back into the electrical trade. I heard an expression once… “You can take the boy out of the trade but you can’t take the trade out of the boy.”

A few years back I had major back and neck surgery leading to another career change…

I took a course in electrical estimating. It was fantastic because it got me back into the trade. I now teach the courses I took. sudermanestimating.com

The upside of it is I get to combine my love of writing with my knowledge about estimating. I have articles published in Electrical Business Magazine in a regular column, Estimating 101. Here is an article I wrote for the May 2020 edition.
Is Your Estimator Making This Mistake

Brain Teasers!

I like word games, brain teasers, riddles etc. They make me think and let me have fun at the same time. When you add the fact that I like reading and writing you will understand why I have added a new page to my website.

My question for you is if you could receive a card in the mail with a couple of brain teasers in it would you like it? I would so I’m setting up a page for that purpose.

Please note there is no cost or obligation to subscribe to this fun and mentally stimulating service. I’m doing it for the fun of it.

You can learn the details here… Brain Teasers

Naked Ears

Been walking with naked ears 
Been walking that way for years
Love having open hearing
Birds chirping
Bugs zinging
Wind in the trees
The sounds of nature
Not so sure
Why people find headsets
So endearing
Love my naked hearing

I wrote the draft of this poem on a friends Facebook page after she posted about walking without a headset on. I don’t wear a headset, I don’t check my phone, answer email or texts when I am out walking. I am there for the walk and the live experience of the walk.

When you walk do you walk with Naked Ears?

Observations in Nature

I wrote this poem after watching a muskrat swim by with a tender shoot of bulrush in it’s mouth. The muskrat had to dodge around a beer can to get to it’s burrow under this tree.

Muskrat and beer cans
Pop cans and turtles
Coffee cups and frogs
Cellophane wrappers and herons
Balloons and ducks
Plastic bags
Sharing the pond
All shining in the sun
Ain’t nature divine?

Raccoon and cigarette butt carcasses
Along side the road
Opossums no longer scampering
Rotting in the sun
Birds wings fluttered by passing cars
Unmoving bodies flying no more
Plastic bags fluttering in the trees
All shining in the sun
Ain’t nature beautiful?

Ain’t nature beautiful?
Ain’t nature grand?
Oh People!
What are we doing to our land?

Dan Beresford, June 18th, 2021

This poem will be added to the book I am writing… “100 Terrible Short Stories and Poems”

Happy Friday Y’All

Well here it is May 2021 and I’m still not following my plan.
I probably have more excuses than there are stars in the sky (except I probably use the same ones over and over).

I have actually dropped a lot of them and have settled on “I’m just not in the mood.”

The reality is mood doesn’t matter. Writing matters.

So here I am standing on the edge of another cliff that I created. I dreamed up a new book.

The title is “100 Lousy Short Stories and Poems”. I based it on a number of books I’ve read lately that were published and available in my local library. I am not a “noted” literary critic but I am a reader; the stories sucked, some of them I couldn’t even finish. What that meant to me is that I can either write or write to achieve perfection.

I ain’t perfect so I will write; some of of it will be okay, some of it will suck, some of it will be good, some of it will connect to you (hopefully) and most of it you won’t read anyway.

Here’s the first lousy short story…

Bent and Gnarled Fingers

Early mornings and late days. At the end of the day someone would say “Let’s grab a drink.” I would usually go along. It was easier than going alone.

After a couple of hours we would head out. Some went home. Some went home to a family and supper. Some went out. Me, I went a bunch of different ways depending on my head space. Sometimes it was easy to go home and do the wife, kids, supper thing. Sometimes I had to go for a drink. Sometimes I had to go be alone.

It was hard on my wife and children. My wife and I fought about it but I couldn’t explain it. I needed some of those times to catch my breath and mend my soul.

Today as I look at my bent and gnarled fingers, I feel guilty. I took the easy way out and other people paid the price. I can’t blame them. Today my children hate me.

Being an electrician is hard work but emotionally rewarding when you see what you built or repaired. (As you age the work gets harder.) I liked it because it made me think. I hated it because at the end of the day I couldn’t think or write.

Today I encourage people to enter the trade… but don’t do it because it’s available, like I did, (I couldn’t afford to go to university or college and my marks sucked because I was too lazy to work in high school… boredom is killer for me).

Enter the trade because it is challenging, educational, deals with science, math and physics… electricity is fascinating. Look at buildings, cars, appliances, lighting, solar power and so much more. Man, I love the trade.

As I age I miss it.

I miss taking a set of plans and creating something from blue lines and notes.

I miss getting called out to fix a breakdown and solving the mystery of what happened and how to fix it.

But… I should have found a way to write.

I am older now and looking at my hands, my swollen and tight knuckles, my bent and gnarled finger, I cringe. My swollen, tight knuckles ache when I type too long. My bent and gnarled fingers make it hard to hit the keyboard at times.

Sitting alone, me and a glass of wine but when I write… feeling so satisfied even though no one will read it and it is crap. BUT I AM WRITING!

Friday Musings August 7th, 2020

It is very dark out at 2:00 a.m.

When you wake up and can’t get back to sleep what do you do? I lay there as long as I can before I read or get up. Sometimes when I get up I hunt gnomes. I have one hanging out in my front yard. He’s easy to find because of his lantern. I try it iGnome him but he is hard to miss.

Gnoming around

I’ve spotted a Buddha out there as well. The Buddha is a little more elusive than the gnome. I don’t think Buddha likes having a picture taken.

Today I witnessed two shoplifters… thieves at the LCBO. I reported it. They were confronted but the police weren’t called. Why not? According to the customers in the store LCBO policy is to not detain them or confront them. Rumour has it that the LCBO is the most shoplifted retail outlet in Ontario. You can read the actual policy here STATEMENT REGARDING LCBO SHOP THEFT

I launched a new website this week. electricaljobscanada.ca I did it because most job boards are general and not specific to the electrical industry. My goal is to get it up and running and monetize it. Why did I do it? Planning for a residual income stream.

I found an online store that sells eco-friendly cleaning products. I’ve been trying them for a couple of months. I like them. No chemical smell, easy on the wallet. Shipping is made affordable because they are concentrated so I am not paying to ship water. Cost wise… so far the products I have ordered are better value than the ones I have been buying.

Our 50th Anniversary Celebration of Earth Day!

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Our Earth has undergone an incredible transformation because of the world wide COVID – 19 lock down. Our Earth is healing because we are not abusing it or using it like we have in the past. Human beings can still help…we can pick up after ourselves

Skies are clearer. Air pollution is dropping faster than scientists ever thought it would. Rivers, streams, canals and other waterways are cleaner.

In the Geocaching world today was to be a world wide CITO. Cache In Trash Out. As a Geocacher I have been amazed at the places I have found garbage and deeply saddened by it. (You can learn more about Geocaching here. www.geocaching.com)

This morning my wonderful wife, my dog (Princess Sophie Mophie Defender of the Universe from Squirrels, Rabbits and Other Small Furry Creatures) and I went for a short walk. We took some plastic bags with us.

Walking the 500m from our home on Bayside Gate to Gordon Street we filled to the breaking point two grocery bags.

Dan and Princess Sophie Mophie Defender of the Universe showing litter picked up in 500m in Whitby Shores, Ontario.
50th Anniversary Earth Day Celebration

A few years ago before I updated my website I blogged about the litter and garbage I picked up in Lynde Shores. Over 22 pounds and I hadn’t even walked the full trail.

Earlier this month I read an article posted by CBC about a man in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia who while under quarantine and laid off from work started picking up garbage during his walks every day. dartmouth-man-new-hobbies-covid-19-laid-off-worker

All it takes is a few minutes out of your day but it makes a huge impact on our environment. I believe that if we can spread the word more by our actions than by our complaints.

Will you step up or just read this and think what a crackpot?

Will you take a few minutes out of your life to help clean up our Earth?

Litter kills. Birds have choked on balloons. Numerous mammals have been cut, poisoned, and trapped by litter and garbage. Fish have been poisoned and their waterways choked off by plastic.

Oh sh**… it’s already the middle of January 2020!

2020 calendar

First off, I hope that you have a great 2020! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I will be writing more frequently this year.

I am also finishing a transition in my writing. I have been copy writing for a number of years and enjoyed it but it was never my passion.

So what am I going to write?

Poems, short stories, flash stories and micro stories. I hope you take the time to drop around and read them. If you prefer a printed copy mailed to you let me know by subscribing.

Why the change?

I am tired of selling things, concepts and ideas for other people. I want to use the skills and experience I have gained to entertain rather than persuade. I like short stories, poems, novellas and novels.

I hope you enjoy what I write when you drop by. I am looking forward to seeing what flows from my mind onto my computer and out into the world.

Thoughtless Writing

The title expresses my feeling about more than 90% of the written communication I receive today. Email and text and crappy, boring flyers. I was speaking with a fellow poet earlier today and that started a bunch of thoughts rolling around in my brain. Here is the first draft of a poem that came from those thoughts and feelings. I think it needs work but as a guy who loves words and poetry and tries to communicate emotions and evoke a response I know it is going somewhere.

Thoughtless writing finger and smartphone

Black marks on a white background
Pixels forming the shapes of letters
Words on a screen

Slashed and pecked
Clicked and clacked
Thumbed or fingered
And click to send

Drab and boring
No beauty
No flow
Just click and go

The power of words
Thoughtlessly ignored
Sacrificed for speed
Just to meet the instant need
Written in haste
Thoughtless writing
A waste

No description
No emotion
Perhaps an emoticon
Click and gone
Then move on

No thought for the deed
Of writing words for others to heed
No sharing of soul
Speed the only goal

Thoughtless writing
Words on a screen
No cadence or flow
Words sent in haste
Bland and boring
(Excuse my snoring)