I love Tools of Renewal and Brigid (among other blogs, including yours, and yours, and of course, you too).
But they get long.
It's me, not them.
The writing is phenomenal.
I started to write a post that was getting long.
Then I decided t break it up.
My writing is not phenomenal.
So this is the first part.
After it, take a break, go for a walk, re-fill your coffee.
I've been heavily involved with lasers (as an industrial tool) for years.
More than thirty.
I'm now the Automation Engineer and acting Maintenance Manager for a startup plant (automotive supplier) that's growing fast.
We use lasers.
Now we need a Laser Safety Officer.
I work for Magna and it's headquartered in Toronto.
The Laser Safety Training occurs at the University of Toronto.
That's a five hour road trip, across the Canadian Border at the Ambassador Bridge.
I've had to postpone it twice this year because of product launches.
It got re-scheduled for this last Thursday.
Then our son, who just qualified as Chief-of-the-Boat (think Harvey Keitel in U571) and who is now on orders to Japan for two years starting next week, decided he'd fly in to visit before leaving, rather than us fly out to Groton this weekend.
So he joined us for the trip to Toronto.
I'd be in class, and his Mom and he would be going up in the CN Tower and sightseeing.
We had dinner with my wife's Dad and his wife, who drove in from Kalamazoo to see our son.
We then left for Toronto.
At the border, somebody's ex (that's a polite way to say "witch from hell") greeted us.
She asked where we were going and I said Toronto, that we'd be sightseeing.
She asked what we were going to see and I said Toronto.
She asked where we'd be staying. I said the Towne Inn.
She nastily said that they are all over Canada.
I said the one in Toronto.
She asked for an address.
I said it was on my phone.
There was more along that line, but her whole attitude seemed to be summed up by:
"I don't have any idea why you would want to infest my country with your presence.".
She said to drive to the immigration window, exit the car (which they searched) and get in line.
The hour and a half line.
During that time, I went to the bathroom and threw away my switchblade.
The officer at the counter asked a lot of questions.
Where we were staying.
I got no reception so I couldn't tell him, but I gave him the phone number and he looked it up.
He appeared pleased.
Finally, it boiled down to the officer asking that with our relationship to each other, why we had different last names.
I said, he was my stepson, her son from a previous marriage.
You could almost see him slap his forehead mentally.
He then asked when was the last time I'd been to Canada and I told him a few months ago for my company, to see a mold tryout.
He asked what mold shop and I told him I couldn't remember the name. That seemed an issue.
I told him I still had the letter of business in my briefcase somewhere.
He started typing.
Then he said, "You work for Magna?" as if that was a good thing.
I said yes and he handed us our passports.
He was very friendly all of a sudden.
So I asked him to stamp my son's passport, something he had wanted before we crossed but which I had said we wouldn't have time for.
Wish I'd kept the blade.
We got to our room about midnight.
OK. If I was reading this, I'd being skipping stuff by now.