Category Archives: Work

Stuck in my head!

Posted on October 27, 2008 by

OK, so last Saturday I was traveling (far too early in the morning) to UNB Fredericton to do some testing for the federal government recruitment program. On the way, I was doing my usual weekend morning thing – listening to “Weekend Mornings” with Stan Carew on CBC, minding my own business, when someone called in to request that Stan play a song called “Why don’t women like me?” by George Formby…

Well, the only thing I can do is let you experience this for yourself… Picture me sitting through 5 1/2 hours of testing with this song stuck in my head…

Hope you don’t have it stuck in your head as long as I have!!! 🙂

For the super-nerds out there like me, here are the lyrics:


George Formby – 1933
Clinton Ford – 1966

Now, I know I’m not handsome
No good looks or wealth
But the girls I chase say my plain face
Will compromise their health
Now, I know fellahs worse than me
Bow-legged and boss-eyed
Walking out with lovely women
Clinging to their side

Now, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me
Look at Empress Josephine
The most attractive woman that ever was seen
Yet Napoleon, short and fat
Captivates a lovely looking girl like that
Now, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me, hey-hey
Why don’t women like me

Last night I went out walking
My intentions were to click
But the sights I saw while walking out
They nearly made me sick
I saw a lot of lovely girls
Attractive little dears
Arm in arm with ugly men
With cauliflower ears

Well, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me
What can the attraction be
That’s the thing that always starts to worry me
Although I haven’t got a bean
I’ve got a lot of things the girls have never seen
Well, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me, hey-hey
Why don’t women like me

Now, I went on my holidays
Down to the gay seaside
I saw a lot of things there
Being hidden by the tide
The way the women jumped around
The men there in the sea
Made me think that there
Is still a good chance left for me

‘Cause if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me
Of all the shapes and sizes there
I’ve got a chance of clicking yet, I do declare
Oh, I don’t want to be a nark
I saw a lot of things below the water mark
Well, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me, hey-hey
Why don’t women like me

Well, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me
Take Lord Nelson with one limb
Lady William Hamilton, she fell for him
With one eye and one arm gone west
She ran like the devil and she grabbed the rest
Well, if women like them like men like those
Why don’t women like me, hey-hey
Why don’t women like me

(Transcribed from the Clinton Ford recording
by Mel Priddle – September 2005)


NBCC Pictures, Rain Damage and others

Posted on September 8, 2008 by

On the first day back at the New Brunswick Community College, we always get the students together and snag a picture of them on the back lawn. For the past few years, I have been the guy who goes onto the roof to get the shot. Unfortunately, because of the rain, we had to postpone the photo for a few days and very few students came out for the shot.

However, never one to let an opportunity slide, I decided to grab some other shots while I was up there.

Here is the result of the massive rain storm we had (remnants of Hurricane Hanna, dropped 140 mm of rain on us in a day). The rain washed away the relatively fresh earth that had been used to fill in the natural gas pipeline into the campus’ C building at the back…


Here’s a shot of the back lower parking lot at lunch.


And finally, a nice view of the Bay of Fundy approach to the Saint John Harbour from the College roof.

I love being near the sea. You just don’t get these vistas inland!



United Way Campaign Kickoff 2008

Posted on September 4, 2008 by

Nadine and I were at the NBCC table for the “Poor Boy’s Luncheon” at the United Way Kickoff 2008. The day was nice and sunny and warm and the lunch (beans and hot dogs with tons of desserts) was delicious!
United Way Campaign Kickoff 2008 NBCC Saint John Team


NBCC *FINALLY* to be removed from government!

Posted on June 26, 2008 by

In the official release on the provincial website, the government has announced a lot of very aggressive numbers of students to train in the next 5 or 6 years, but more importantly, they have finally announced what has been needed (and wanted, at least from within the system!) for a long time – a community college that is separate from government.

While not perfect (mainly because this will all take a lot of money, and that is always a stumbling block in government), this is a good day for post-secondary education in New Brunswick.

Plan for Transformation of PSE in NB

New Vision for community college network

Action plan to transform PSE


Ruby on Rails

Posted on April 24, 2008 by

Went to a Ruby on Rails seminar today at UNB Fredericton. It was hosted by Spheric Technologies out of Moncton.

Interesting development platform. It takes away a lot of the dog work associated with dynamic web pages, linking to databases, etc…. once you get the hang of it! From what I saw, it would take a good developer a week or two to start pumping out some good, solid, interactive websites with RoR. Of course, it would take longer to become an expert, but doesn’t it always… 🙂

One of the things I liked was that it comes standard on Mac OS X Leopard machines now, and they used some MacBooks today during the presentations.

I really want a new Mac… For the money I know I should get an iMac so that I can get the large display and more power, but more and more I am enjoying the portability of laptops, so if I were to get one, I would sacrifice power for portability and get a Macbook (or, in my wildest dreams, the MacBookpro…). It has been a while since I lusted after a machine this way… 🙂


UNBSJ will NOT become a Polytech, keeping Liberal Arts

Posted on January 31, 2008 by


Premier Graham announced in his state-of-the-province address tonight that UNBSJ will NOT be turned into a Polytech and will not lose its liberal arts programs. U de M will also not lose its satellite campuses. He stated:

the Saint John campus will remain a university while offering more technical programs designed to satisfy the province’s growing demand for skilled labour.

“UNB Saint John will retain programs like liberal arts while expanding with new program offerings to meet emerging economic opportunities”

Premier Graham made no mention of the fate of the New Brunswick Community College, the other institution mentioned in the Polytech idea. Here is a link to the CBC Article


After Cuba and home again…

Posted on March 15, 2007 by

Despite being in love with Cuba, every good trip has an ending. So here I am, sharing some of what I returned home to… 🙂
Snow Piles

What do you do with a pile of snow? Start shoveling!!!
snow removal

No Cuban can visit the “Imperialistic Western Empires” without visiting the most guilty of capitalist institutions… Wal-Mart and McDonalds! 🙂

Here is Henry, quoting passages from Che and Jose Marti to Ronald McDonald… 🙂
Ronald McDonald

Then he decided to show off for our Cuban friends who view this and not be zippered up to his eyeballs in the snow… 🙂
Golden Arches

When we pulled out from McDonalds and passed by our dilapidated harness racing track, Henry started laughing when he saw one of our “Canadian Coches”!
Canadian Coche


Last Morning…

Posted on March 1, 2007 by


(posted after I returned home!)

Getting ready to leave the guest house… Eric (from our St. Andrews campus), Leonardo, Onis, and Arturo
Last Morning At Guest House

Henry, Leonardo, and I spent the morning in Havana wandering around, watching the tourists, and having a few beers (my last taste of Cuba… 🙁

Anyone who thinks there is no trade coming and going in Cuba hasn’t mentioned it to the lines of container ships and tourist buses that flood through Havana every day…
Shipping In Havana

The ‘Catedral’ is a beautiful building and is a “must” for photographers to visit.

For those of you who were wondering, this banner shows that apparently Fidel is still alive! 🙂

Henry was pretty excited on the plane ride…
Henry on Airplane

He took a great shot of another plane flying under us near New York. I told him it was the Americans shooting a missle near us as a warning because we had a Cuban on board… 🙂
Airplane Contrail

When we arrived in Toronto and went through customs, I went straight and Henry had to go through Immigration process. He looked at me with a quizical look as he was directed to a separate line and I just told him it was where they would perform the strip search! 🙂 Even the customs lady laughed when he figured out what I had said and his eyes widened! 🙂 I let him off the hook though, and just told him it was standard procedure for all foreigners. 🙂


The Last Supper!

Posted on February 27, 2007 by


(posted after I returned)

The last night in Cuba, we had a great party at Casa Danaysi.

The supper was awesome – salmon!
Last Supper

Danaysi with her friend Greta…
Nana and Greta

Danaysi and her new niece Diana!
Nana and Diana

Daimarelys seemed a little sad I was leaving. I was pretty sad to leave too!

Even Leonardo and his very unique horn showed up with Henry for a drink and some fun!

We had so much fun dancing in the heat, I started hogging the fan…
Fan Dance


Last update from Cienfuegos

Posted on February 27, 2007 by


So this is it, last day in Cienfuegos.

During the morning yesterday, Danaysi spent a lot of time downloading all my photos and videos to her computer so she could have a copy of them. I think it may be for blackmailing me later with a few embarrassing videos of me dancing… 🙂

For lunch yesterday, Oscar took me to a restaurant on the Malceon plaza because his house is still under repairs and it is difficult for him to entertain. It was a nice place, and we had plenty of food – pork steaks, Chinese butterflies, chicharitas (fried banana chips), fresh salad with tomatoes (mmmm), and rice with beans (arroz congris), with a couple of soft drinks. I even tried Bucanero Malta (a sort of sweet, non-alcoholic beer). The entire meal came to 82 Cuban pesos (about $3.20 in foreign money), very cheap, although that is a large portion of Oscar’s salary. Oscar refused to allow me to help him pay, he said it was his invitation. They may not have much money in Cuba, but people like Oscar appreciate friendship, have more class than I could ever try to explain here, and will give whatever they do have to make you feel comfortable and welcome! I am still awaiting word from the Vatican about my request to have him canonized as Saint Oscar of Cienfuegos (’Santo Oscar de Cienfuegos’) for all the work he does for us and time he spends with us while we are here!

Yesterday afternoon, there was a book fair on Prado and the Boulevard. Every year they have one, and it celebrates a different country (I assume it is Latin American or Spanish normally). This year, the celebration was about Argentina. There was a carnival-like atmosphere in the streets, and Prado was closed to vehicular traffic near the boulevard so that pedestrians could shop in relative safety. Paula, Viviena’s daughter, was singing in the concert that accompanied the fair.

Supper (sena) was at Casa Viviena, with Laura, Anna Rosa, Paula, and Viviena’s mother also present. Before supper, we played dominoes, and the team of Laura and Chris were the winners, with Laura and I being labelled as ‘bota gordas’ by Paula and Anna Rosa for always managing to get rid of the big dominoes quickly. We had a lot of fun. Supper included a lesson in the kitchen on how to cook tachinos (fried banana chunks) and how to make ‘Coffee Cubano’, and also included meatballs, rice, potatoes (a rare find in Cuba), and a salad with tomatoes (I can’t get enough of their tomatoes!).

After supper, I walked Anna Rosa and Laura to their homes (well, until they could catch a coche), then met Oscar y Monica, Fuster y Meili, Daima y Danaysi, and Daylin y Kadir at a oacked Teatro Tomas Terry for an orchestral concert. The name of the group was ‘Camerata Romeu’, and it was made up of all female string players. They started with very conservative classical music, then moved into more contemporary Cuban music (but done with strings!), a ‘dueling banjoes’ style of performance by two violin players, and also a percussion piece written by a Cuban composer in which they used the bodies of the string instruments to create the percussion sounds, and at one point during the percussion piece, one of the players got out of her seat and danced Cubano style, much to the delight of the crowds. The concert ended with two encore performances, something almost unheard of in Cuba from what I was told, and no less than three standing ovations. The entire performance was amazing. Taking a classical performance and converting it into a hybrid of Cuban-Latino music was simple genius. I will post some of the videos and pictures on YouTube and the blog when I get back.

Today, I will spend most of the day getting ready to leave and picking up the last of the trinkets. I am heading back much lighter on trinkets this time than last, since most of the ‘tourista’ stuff I brought back last time. More coffee this time, to stock up on, and Henry is still trying to find some Cuban cigars for Craig (I think he forgot)!

Tonight is supper (sena) at Casa Danaysi in Tulipan, a district in the North of Cienfuegos. It is my Farewell Party (’fiesta de despedida’), and expected to attend are Daima, Oscar y Monica, and Fuster y Meili.

Everyone is remarking about how quickly I picked up Spanish (espanol), and although I am sure much of what they are saying is just them being friendly, I know I am able to carry on simple conversations and then use ‘Spanglish’ to get my point across even when I am alone. I am even learning some nuances of Cuban Spanish – that espousa means wife but also means handcuffs is a favourite joke of the Cubans. Also, there are some jokes they love to tell here over drinks, like the subtle terminology surrounding ‘papaya’ (a fruit, but also polite slang for a woman’s reproductive area…) and ‘con queso’ (meaning ‘with cheese’, but also polite slang for not having ‘mingled’ with a member of the opposite sex for a while and becoming frustrated about it…). You will understand my surprise when I saw ‘papaya con queso’ as a dessert on the menu yesterday, showed it to Oscar, and once we stopped laughing, Oscar said that since I am noticing these types of things, I must now be a true Cubano!

Tomorrow morning, Leonardo is taking us to Havana early in the morning so Henry and I can walk around Old Havana for a few hours before the flight leaves. As long as all goes well with the flight schedules, I will be home sometime after midnight tomorrow!

I am very excited to get home to my family, but at the same time sad to be leaving such good friends. Hopefully we will be able to extend this project and enjoy more time with such good people!

Voy Tumbando!

Cubano Boy Chris