Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow and the City (a story of my kingship)

It all started this Saturday night. I returned the kids to their sleeping place, and went on my way to visit some friends. As I was going I started to notice a metamorphosis (if you don't know what that is - look it up on Wikipedia) happening to the beautiful city of GTA. It was slowly but surely transforming into a deserted and lost snow kingdom - kind of like a city during nuclear winter period. To add to the similarity I was probably looking (and acting) like a winterish Mad Max in my moto-leather jacket.

By midnight all North York became one deserted grave yard for TTC buses, over-confident SUV's, and other wreckages; all city services decided to take a long and well deserved winter nap, and I became the King of the city. The truth is that deep down inside I love winter driving, with all its skidding, breaking, digging in and out, sliding to the side, and finally getting to the destination. I am a 28 years old, and consider myself mature, but sometimes I am still an 18 year old showoff kid (except by now I have learned how to winter drive). Can you believe that I was doing driving tricks on deserted streets until 4 AM in the morning and could not stop?
In the process the King (me) managed to help 5 of his subjects to get out of snowy situations (4 of them happened to be 4x4's - food for thought), mark the way for the lost in the snow, and finally leave a perfect "dough nut eight" mark on the superstore plaza.

Next day - people started to "return" to life, and The King had to pick up the kids. That was a trip to remember. I actually managed to get to all the destinations I planned that morning relatively on time. If you are wondering how I had managed that on a forward wheel drive Mazda MPV with all season tires - I have only one thing to say - I am the king, the tamer of black ice - I can.
(Hmm this kingship thing, must be like a bad beer - went straight into my head, judging by the last sentence:-))

As a King, I am going to share some rules for the snowy city subjects. Obedience is mandatory or next time I will not get you out of the ditch:-)

1. If you are afraid of the snow and drive slowly - that is your business. You will get stuck because of it, but that is Ok. Pick a lane - even the left most one and drive. Just don't pick all three lanes at once. It does not make your journey much safer - I can guarantee you that.

2. If you feel that you are stuck - it might not be enough to mindlessly press the gas pedal to the floor until your engine goes up in smoke. Try something different, something refreshing, like using the steering wheel, or trying to go backwards a bit and then change direction. Oh and going over the hill with speed is safer than slowly sliding sideways on it.

3. If you are really stuck - I understand that your floor mats represent a family treasure, but they really might help you to get out, if you put them under your wheels. And please don't talk to your grandmother, about Christmas shopping on the cellphone, while I am pushing you out of the ditch. Try using your steering wheel to help me instead.

4. 4x4 is really good at starting on hills, It is also nice going through a deep snow. It is NOT better than anything else when skidding or sliding. And once its upside down - its the same as any other wreck. Keep that and mind.

5. Finally if you are stuck - see the humor in the situation, and laugh it off. All the city is stuck not just you - and there is only one King... , or so it seemed for the first 5-6 morning hours:-)

P.S. Some of you have indicated that I made many promises in previous blogs to write more about my latest adventures and life changes, and failed to deliver on them. Guilty as Charged. I have also deserted my monthly status posts. The main lame reason for it is complete lack of time. I am planning to return to that at the end of the year, and do one complete sweep.
Another reason for dragging my feet is that I have seen the stats about who reads this blog and found some interesting surprises. Therefore I haven't decided, If I want to publish some details I used to before.... I might want to be a king I am just not sure If I should be the naked one (Wikipedia - Emperor's new Clothes), while someone else is dressed:-) - those in question will understand what I mean

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In the middle of the lake

People have been wandering what is going on, where am I, what am I doing and where it is all going. So here its: It is Sunday night, I am sitting in my bedroom, alone, a bit sick, and without a job. It took me a while to get into this position and I am cherishing every moment. Tomorrow 8:00 am sharp my survival mechanism will kick in – and I will go forward with an extreme speed.

My very good friend calls this position: “being in the middle of the lake”. Imagine cutting all support and relation to what has sustained and occupied a person for long period of time, going away from everybody and everything and just taking a boat of life to the middle of the lake – the very middle – FREEZE this moment. This does not have to be the worst situation in ones life, it is just a situation that prompts to rethink and reassess ones position and purpose in the world.

This is the position I am in right now. I have started “paddling to the middle” in the beginning of summer and finally I am there for all aspects of my life. No, it’s not the best position to be in because of all the responsibility that is hanging from my shoulders. Yes, I am grateful for being in this position, because it is quite mild comparing to some other people who have reached this stage, and because it gives me time to think and reflect (yes only until tomorrow
8:00 am:-))

So here are some revelations from the middle of the lake:

First it is time to examine my past decisions that I have made in order to get to the middle. One thing that is very clear (Hopefully I do not sound like a Buddha here:-)) is that there are no right or wrong decisions when you are in the middle. Finally I can let myself go wrong and err, without eating myself up for dinner afterwards, and always asking what have I done wrong. Mistakes are only things I have done that do not agree with my inner values and nothing else. There were some mistakes, but mistakes are the prerogative of those who try – and they provide the fuel to move forward. Also perhaps I should have been a bit more flexible not so rigid in some things – but these are the very things because of which I respect myself and I am in the middle the way I am.

I had an interesting internal debate regarding these values. After all isn’t being flexible and adaptive best for survival and prosperity? The evolution works that way – those who do not adapt – die. Isn’t Machiavellian position the most efficient in the world? (Yes I know who that was, if you don’t go look it up in Wikipedia:-))

Being in the middle and at peace with myself, provides an easy answer. Of course it is efficient and important to be flexible and adaptive, but only if you do not make deals with your conscious along the way. The funny thing is that if you do, it might achieve something at that moment but somehow this adaptiveness will not bring your survival chances up – rather it might mess you up in some way you have not thought of. The truth is that conscious is embedded even in the “worst” people and trying to overwrite conscious is like having a wish wand that will always take something from the other end when you make a wish. If one was a GOD, they could predict everything and make the right path and right deals with no reprocautions, but none of us is GOD (even though some pretend to be :-)).

From my personal perspective I could redefine a mistake as something that I have done while doing a deal with my conscious. It works but always leads to something that requires a bigger deal with conscious and leaves a bigger mess. As for hard decisions in the past 6 months – yes it is hard on me now but from the middle I can see that the alternatives would create a situation much worse and I would also be left without any self respect.

Second thing I understood being in the middle is that I always was one step too hard on myself. Looking from the middle - the decisions that I've made, and the experiences that I've had, I do deserve respect from myself (and not making deals with conscious on big dilemmas is one of the main things there). I should trust myself more in the future, and be much more comfortable in my skin. Now my inner voice has more weight on the scale than outside opinions (For the reasons why – don’t fall asleep here, continue to read further:-))

Third thing is about people surrounding me when I was “paddling” to the middle. Generally when I am in a great position in life and have a lot to give – there are many people who swerve around me like an orbital station. They are needy for my love, money, fame, knowledge, and anything else I can give. “Paddling” to the middle is like a litmus test (If you do not know what that is – go search the Wikipedia and do not come back until you can remember all of it by heart:-)). Only the very true people remain (small group) – because they sense who I am, and know that external things are there because my "internal spine", and if external things disappear they will appear again soon enough. An even smaller group remains there because they are just comfortable with me the way I am, no matter what the externals are. I am very grateful to those people.

Most people however are afraid of the person who is paddling to the middle. My theory is that people are so afraid of reaching the middle themselves that they do not want to be associated in any way with a person who is going there. In my case, figuratively speaking, people started to paddle away from me as fast as possible. Some of them have started paddling months ago, some are doing it right now. Some do it in secrecy, some do it openly and with a lot of splash (Some row fast and pretend I do not exist). The funny thing is that (again figuratively speaking) most of those people have left a rope tied to my boat, so what they are doing is essentially making a big circle around me. Some know about this rope, some don’t , some know and pretend not to notice that they are circling – not getting away. The latter probably sense that they have made the wrong deal, but cannot admit it to themselves. (If you do recognize yourself in these groups, I am not judging you – I am just pointing at the rope and want you to ask yourself - why?)

Obviously being in the middle and seeing those circling in the distance – I now have all the reasons in the world to regard my opinion more than someone else’s, and only trust the opinions of the people who I chose to respect.

To conclude this rather long story, I can only say – even though all of us are afraid of the middle of the lake, it is better to reach it and change your life, than being afraid of it and still reach it at the end with a lot of “if I did it the other-way” questions. In this case, you won’t sleep well at nights, and will never be at peace with yourself. Looking at it from another angle, do you want to live all your life in fear of the “middle”? Most of our worries and fears are nothing but the fear of the “middle” in disguise.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Zoo on Judgement day

Last Saturday was Jewish yearly judgment day - iom kipur. Every Jew is supposed to fast, pray, and not do many things - as this day man's fate is decided for the next year. I am completely non religious but I have a long going tradition of not eating. (Hmm go figure why I am doing this...)

Judgment day or no Judgment day - I am taking the kids for the weekend. My kids do not like to fast even for half an hour, want entertainment no matter what day it is, and are not even technically Jewish. So Saturday became a Zoo day with a fasting dad.

Hmm truly Judgment day:

10:00 AM - Kids are fed. Dads hungry but proud.
11:00 AM - Going to the Zoo. Hungry and Proud forgot the stroller
11:30 AM - Arriving at the Zoo - Kiddos decide they are going to ride the dad to the entrance
11:45 AM - It is Judgment day so the line up is twice as long as any other day
12:00 - We got in. Renting a wagon. Zoo keepers have a strange notion of what children wagon is supposed to be. They assume that a blue box on wheels with shallow flat bottom is the masterpiece of children wagons. They get offended if someone tries to distort that vision even a bit.
12:30 - We are going to see the dinosaur's exhibit. There was a lot of noise about it in the summer. I heard that first weekend it was on, there was a huge traffic jam starting from 401 to the Zoo. Now there is a relatively thin stream of people going in - we managed to get in with our box on wheels.
1:00 PM - Going through the exhibit. Dinosaurs move, moan and groan and seem to be interested in a human dinner. Dad is mildly interested in the dinosaurs, definitely more interested in a dinner. Anna is very interested in dinosaurs, but also very scared - so she displays her interest from Dad's arms. Evan is sitting in the blue box with stone face. When asked he formulates: "I am not interested in dinosaurs". Brief investigation shows that he is interested in something to eat. Deeper investigation reveals that something equals ice cream.
1:30 PM - Something to eat becomes a question of life and death. Because it is Judgement day the lineup to pizza is more than to any other exhibit, ATM machines are permanently "temporarily out of duty", and there are fights over tables. Because we are a team we win the fight over a table, and slice through the line up.
2:00 PM Kids are eating - Dad is looking at them with hungry eyes.
2:30 PM Have you ever tried to get rid of garbage while kids are playing "lets run into different directions" game?
2:45 PM Looking through Americas exhibit. Evan is interested in flamingos. Anna is interested in running. Dad is also interested in flamingos but from a culinary perspective. Ice cream time
3:00 PM More exhibits. Evan is interested in pushing the blue box. Anna is interested in getting in and out of the blue box at the most unexpected time. Dad is interested in two things
1. What kind of "natural" color they put in an ice cream if it cannot be removed with wet napkins?
2. Where is my gun with one bullet so I can shoot myself.
3:45 Finally they get tired. Dad is considering monkeys from culinary perspective. Evan demands another restaurant. Going back to the car with arms full of kids. People think I am a giant.
4:00 Evan sits in the car - only after he is promised that we are going to the restaurant. He goes to sleep 35 seconds after. Anna goes to sleep 25 minutes after.
4:35 We are passing Innsfill. Picture of a juicy burger does not want to leave my mind.
5:35 We are passing Innsfill. Picture of a juicy burger does not want to leave my mind.
6:20 Evan wakes up. First question: "Are we at the restaurant yet?"


Monday, September 03, 2007

Labour Day Monthly Post

Uff - just finished the 2008 release. I worked 12 hours a day for the last couple of weeks. True meaning of Labour day for me and my crew (amazing people) was exactly that - Labour. So while most of you enjoyed the Air Show, and all the other Labour Day festivities - we enjoyed our monitors, conference calls, and nightly emails - and only heard the sound of barrier booms from afar, mixed with keyboard typing sounds and occasional dialogs between a developer going nuts and a defenseless laptop (I am assuming it is defenseless because I never heard it reply back:)).

1.The apartment.

I wish I could say there is a lot of progress on this front, but there really isn't much to tell. For lame reasons why it is like that - see the introduction. However I am happy to report several good things
a) I am much more comfortable in the apartment right now and have actually started to call it home. It is been a while since I have had a home - not just a place to spend the night.
b) Financial situation is in stabilization process - after the separation dive (The back theme of this post is definitely the air show that I have missed:)). This means that during this month home will not only feel comfortable - but also become comfortable.
c) I am actually capable of keeping my place clean. (Everything in life is relative:))
d) My superintendents have finally managed to fix the leak - and cheerfully create another. This is actually more amusing than I thought:)
e) No I have not thrown out that empty beer case. It is still on the balcony. Yes I will throw it out. It also has an empty white wine bottle near it- to keep it company:)


I have been spending every bit of time I had with the kids. There are amazing and make me more and more proud every day. Besides no management experience can be ever compared to commanding two+ kids in the pool or lake especially in their current age. If you are in charge of 20 20 year olds - try 2 3.5/1.5 year olds:))

I have understood - through my life experience right now - how important it is for them to feel appreciated loved and sure of themselves. How important it is to
  • never make them scared when they do something wrong.
  • ask their advice even though they are so little.
  • never make any of their misdeeds (and there are plenty:)) personal for them.
  • always tell them that they can achieve whatever they want, and never put them down
  • always approve of them and validate their feelings.
I am now putting all of this into practice. That creates problems between me and other people in their life that have the special forces mentality (break em to make em) when it comes to kids - and kids mentality when it comes to special forces:)

My personal life is pretty much in the same state as before. I am discovering things about myself, that are new to me, and slowly answering the "what do I want from my future?".

I still have Green Eyes in the back of my mind and visit that place a bit too often for my taste.
Somehow she manages to hold on in there even though she does not deserve it . Some questions got answered - some still come up. I don't know why but I still care (for her), and that "why" is a BIG question.

As usual when I am not looking for anything - anything desperately tries to find me. I passed on most of that , went on a couple of dates (with no particular purpose) - and returned with a strong sense of what I DON'T WANT.

One point I would like to make is about Honesty. This is not so much about dating as about relationships between people in general. I have met many people in the last month - and quite a few of them have boasted about their honesty, and how they are looking for honesty in others. I found out that the more someone is "honest" and "looking for honesty" the more that someone is a liar to others, or to him/herself. So please - stop looking for honesty in others - specifically in me - until you find it in yourself.

3.Health Fitness

I am getting into shape, even though not quite there yet. I am now ready to pass firefighter, police or even GTF entrance tests. No I am not planning to change my career to any of these any time soon :-) This is just for fun. Not quite the form for Gibush Shaetet but getting there.


Well, the beginning of this post was all about the job. Aside from that the 'A' is now officially dropped from AVP, which does not make any difference what so ever to me. The exceptions are new business cards and some other things that I am not at liberty to discuss in a blog. I still need a vacation. Otherwise - who knows - I might switch a profession or two - at least firefighters have and use their vacations:))


I should just copy that from the previous monthly report.
Some pictures could be found here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"The Secret"

I am not a big fun of buying information over the Internet. There is too much fluff lying around that might look great from a marketing standpoint, but has no tangible value. However, recently, while surfing the net, I was introduced to a movie called "The Secret". I bought a copy.

What an amazing and motivational movie. To me it was the first and probably the best introduction into the concept of the "Law of Attraction". Since then I have researched the topic and found literally tonnes of information (if one would want to print it), and yet I would argue this is the fullest, the most visual and convincing piece. It is also amazing that my previous post was so close in content to what is being discussed in the movie. They actually sell gratitude rocks (Anger management pens, anybody).

I have tried the "Law of Attraction" on a couple of small things (easiest to set the untrained mind into). It worked wonderfully although I had to adjust a couple of rules. Below I am presenting the "Success Recipe" for me, the way I understand it today. As I understand more I will augment the recipe.

The Recipe:

  1. Figure out what is it that you want in your life right now. This is the most important step -if one cannot decide on what one wants, one cannot strongly believe in achieving that. It is also easier to start with tangible quantities things - it is easier to train the mind to visualise them.
  2. Ask the "universe" for what you want. The affirm it to yourself as though you already have it. Just like they suggest: "I am so happy and grateful now that" _____fill in the blank. Always formulate only positive statements - statements like: " I am so happy and grateful now that I do not get that bill every month" DO NOT work.
  3. Visualise what you want as if you already have it. This should bring the filling of joy. If you need some aids to do that (e.g. writing yourself a cheque) do it.
  4. Believe that the "Law of Attraction" works for you. Have a highest sort of belief that what you want is right for you and what you are doing is right. Do not let anyone bring you down.
  5. Be grateful of what you already have. Say it to yourself - this is a key to positive thinking and happiness.
  6. Think only in positive terms, and have patience (hardest one for me)
  7. Repeat 2,3, 4, and 5 each day - may be several times a day. In between let go, and try not to concern yourself with it.
  8. In many cases the things that you want will not manifest themselves. It could be that you will suddenly be presented with an idea of how to get what you want. You have to go and implement that idea with no hesitation. You have to believe that you are going in the right direction even though you can experience some failure in the process.
  9. If failure happens
  • Do not play victim - it is so easy to do that, I did not even realise how often I did that
  • Do not blame yourself - failure is an event, not a person.
  • Do not blame others (this will erode your believe and positive mindset)
  • Learn from the failure and forget it. Continue going forward. Believe in overall success.

End of Recipe

Last Saturday, Child Education Fund agent visited us, to create a policy for my daughter. It turns out that he knows all about the movie, and actually uses it as a training material for his sales people. The concepts presented in "the Secret" are very well suited for motivating sales teams - tangible things are easier to visualise and believe in. It is interesting, how many people know and use this on a daily basis?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Anger Management Pens

There is one thing I do all the time, while I go through a problem-solving task of any kind - I chew on pens. Does not matter if the problem is a test question, or a two-year release plan - I still do it. If it is not pen it is pencil. It seems that chewing on pens, helps me think in a more creative way.

Sometimes this leads to pen loss for other people, when their pens find themselves in the wrong place (near me) at the wrong time (while I am pacing back and forth - deep in thinking). When that happens I usually try to reimburse the person, so I keep several new pens in my notebook case just for that purpose.

Not so long ago it happened at a client side during a particularly nagging deployment issue. While I was reimbursing the people involved, funny conversation took place. We were discussing all the different (GOOD) things chewing pens could lead to, when someone in the office got an idea - Why won't we use it for Anger management?
- Anger management?
- Sure. Anger management. If it were good for creativity boost why wouldn't it help one to calm down?

We went through a funny business case for selling all sorts of chewing pens, and closed the matter. But then it struck me - this could be a serious idea. People can use any object to reinforce their beliefs, or motivate them in any desired way. This could work as a placebo effect. After all when our subconscious mind is absolutely convinced about something, it tends to work the hardest, to bring that something into the real world. So for example if one convinces him/herself that chewing on this pen will make one more creative, - it will happen. That person will become more creative, after chewing on the pen. The pen provided a support point for the subconscious mind to believe that after utilizing the pen, the person IS more creative.

Now the question is, why would anyone want to buy a "magic' object, instead of just grabbing whatever is available and declaring that it has "special powers"?

In my opinion the answer is in one word: VALUE. Placebo effect cannot take place if the patient knows that the pill is not real. More precisely Placebo effect can still happen, but the person has to work much harder to believe (against the knowledge) that the pill is real.

Same example works for any object. If you just pick a pen from the office, it has no VALUE to you. It is hard to convince yourself that doing something with this pen will achieve your goals. However if someone else sells you the same pen, preferably with a ridiculously high price tag attached, your mind automatically values the pen more. Thus it is easier to convince your brain that this pen has “special powers”.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Ladies and Gentelmen

After approximately a year of having a desire to blog, I did it. Finally Desire overcame all odds, time was found (or created) and I have started my own blog.

A bit about myself, and what this blog is intended to be about. My name is Alex Ladizginsky, I live in Ontario - Canada. I currently work in information technology and business or rather in the gap between them. From 7am to 7pm I am employed with a small company Sofea Inc, (as Product Director) which is revolusionising the way people create business and software requirements. From 7pm to 7am I am employed with my family, with exploring cool business and technology ideas, and with personal spiritual development.
This blog will touch upon all of the above aspects of my life. I will be writing my observations and ideas in hope to test if they make sense to anyone else but myself. I am hoping to learn from others and teach others - which in my opinion is just another spin on learn from others.
I am hoping to attract and interest people that attract and interest me.

I am very exited about being able to blog. To me this is a start of new dimension in my life and work (which is my life).