Positives, Negatives… and Sewage!

A very long time ago, I worked for a few months for C.I.C.A. (Combined Insurance Company of America). The short time was dictated by our mutual disagreement on what constitutes business ethics however, a pre-requisite for working for them was completion of a program dedicated to PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) which I understand was spearheaded by the late W. Clement Stone.

I have carried significant aspects of that program with me to this day and, while I still think little of their selling ethics, I put a very high value on their PMA program. I would suggest in fact, that the C.I.C.A. training program was one of the significant turning points in my life.  It was a two week program centered around the logic based belief that there is a positive spin on any situation. The problem is sometimes trying to find it… but it is there!

Ray knows all that positive thinking stuff! When “his” Lululemon store was shut down for renovations, he simply decided to go next door. He sat down and stared through the glass doors, and it worked. He got treats! The full story was covered in an earlier Post.

Positives vs negatives are interesting but, sadly, not really understood by many people. How can there be a positive when………. ? Below are some examples of how I have viewed the past few days:

😦 I am always picking up Ray’s poop soon after he has done it, and it is not odorless!

🙂 It does however help to keep our part of town clean, and sets an example for anybody watching. It also means that we can play in our garden with him without watching where we are treading.


😦 Our home was built in 1920 and has some inherent aging problems.

🙂 Being the age that it is, it also has lots of character!


😦 The past few years have produced isolated incidents of our sewer pipe backing up (garden plant roots encroaching)

🙂 The incidents were resolved at minimal cost and we were good for another year or two.


😦 Our sewer pipe now needs to be totally replaced, and the cost is not small.

🙂 We will end up with a new outside drainage system which will almost certainly outlive us, and there will be no more back up problems.


😦 Because of the close proximity of the natural gas supply to the sewer pipe, outside digging cannot be done mechanically, and hand digging will take a long time. Both would be highly destructive to our front garden.

🙂 Digging can be done with a high pressure water injection into the ground, and the resulting mud vacuumed up. The area of garden destroyed should be substantially reduced!


😦 The truck that does the job is very expensive and is costed based on time necessary to “suck out” an appropriate size hole.

🙂 We are on a sandy soil, so would anticipate a pretty quick job.


😦 The sandy soil could work against us as it is prone to collapsing as the hole gets deeper.

🙂 We have no choice but to replace the existing pipework, and we will end up with problem free drainage, and a front garden that has a relative small area to be restored at the end.


It really is all a matter of perspective. I could focus on the garden disruption; the inconvenience (no washroom use for probably around 8 hours), and the high cost of doing the work… or I can focus on the fact that we have no choice, and we will end up with a trouble free drainage system. The garden can always be repaired as necessary and in a few months, the casual eye will probably see no signs of the project.

This Thursday (13th) will be interesting, because that’s when the vacuum truck arrives to do its job!

Just Thinking! 🙂


24 thoughts on “Positives, Negatives… and Sewage!

  1. My mother always pointed out the worst in every happy event in my life. Made me not want to tell her anything. It may have come from her Irish background. Anyhow, I never heard of sucking out dirt (or sand). How interesting. I hope you get some pictures.

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    • Hi Amy – Yes it is interesting that quite a lot of people seem to make it their life goal to find all the negatives in the world. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but there is no doubt a psychological explanation probably based around low self-esteem. As for pics of this big sucker that is coming tomorrow? I’ll try and remember! 🙂

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