• Wow, I've been away for a while

    I think this will start back on things. Been a while. Took a long hiatus from writing.

    In part I blame twitter. It has become a bane to blogging. It's far easier to use a single line to describe what you're doing. The stimulus-response loop has been INCREDIBLY shortened on some of these social networking sites.

    I've taken to more writing lately though so I think I'll make use of this again.

  • A record that blows my mind

    Ok, Dane Cook sets comedy record is a record that blows my mind.

    I've done some stand-up in my time. It was a really good growth experience, and an INCREDIBLE challenge. I think my standing record was about half an hour (continuous record, I've done more time, but it was split through a night) in front of about 800 people. I honestly think I'll pick up the mic again at some point, and the urge strikes me stronger at some times than at others.

    But if you look at what Dave Chappelle and Dane Cook have been doing. They each try to out-do each other for the standing record, and just last week Dane Cook set the bar at 7 hours. After half an hour, I walked of shaking from the adrenalin and energy I'd worked through. I was on a high all night. I could have done more. I know in my heart I could have. But could I have kept them there for 7 hours straight? Not if my life depended on it.

    Hats off to you Dane Cook. And Dave Chappelle deserves a hats off as well! He had the previous record at 6 hours and change, and will likely set another one to blow our minds soon enough.

  • To a consistent 2008

    Well, my posting over the last few months has been spotty at best, but I confess a certain amount of pride in that the blog traffic has stayed relatively consistent.

    Apparently, there's a regular number of people who want to read what I HAVE said, even when I'm not posting anything new. I like that. It strokes my ego *grin*

    Well, with the new year here, I and pretty much everyone else on the planet are writing about resultions and what we hope to do in the next year.

    For me, I hope to just keep moving on up (cue the theme from the Jeffersons). In all honesty, while it did have ups and downs, the last 2-3 years have had an overall sense of upward progress. Slow (sometimes painfully so) but steady overall. When I look back over the last few years, I feel that as the thing I'm proudest of and will aim to continue on.

    Best wishes for a prosperous New Year!

  • re: Canadian Dollar and Other Fun

    I had yesterday off and I was working out at the gym. Doing some channel surfing on the TV on my machine (yay to the YMCA for high tech gear) I actually ended up on the Business News Network. I ended up watching for half an hour as they described how various prices are out of whack. I'm paraphrasing, but the interviewee ended up describing a lot of traders and institutional banks as (and I'm paraphrasing mightily) overpanicked ninnies who were totally overreacting to the market forces.

    I found that all very comforting in its own way. After all, if I don't really grasp the big picture of things, why should they?

  • I Now 1.6% Hate Facebook

    In case you've been hiding under a rock, Microsoft now owns a portion of facebook.

    I despise consolidation of media and business for a number of reasons. Basically it takes away choices. Already we're being deluged by media from all sources, and because they are competing for our attention they display the most sensational news and images. This not only distorts our concept of the world, but also how we act in the world. Media is our filter for expectations on how the world works.

    With regard to businesses, it applies the same way. Monster bookstores can sell what they want, and if it's not there, it might as well not exist. Automakers can make rules about American dealerships selling to Canadians, or set different prices across the border even though the only economics to back their prices are greed. They charge high prices, then they limit our ability to find cheaper alternatives.

    In a perfect capitalistic society, people would move in to fill these gaps with a better priced service, a more varied selection, or a more realistic news source. However, based on the competitional market and the costs of entering, many industries exist in a sort of "constructed monopoly" whereby the costs of entering are excessive.

    If necessity is the mother of invention, we should be seeing some more invention soon.

  • Obstacles and Barriers

    Recently I've come into a spot of clear-headedness and I'm starting to re-evaluate a lot of things that I had previously considered to be issues in my life.

    It really is amazing how much a change of view can alter how your life looks. I'm looking at barriers and obstacles in a new way and getting some momentum going. I've actually got a few new crazy schemes on a roll. I think my next one will be starting a think tank. There's a lot of credibility that comes in from being part of a thing tank, and it might be fun to tap that on a political spectrum.

    As far as Acronyms go, I was thinking Candian Institute for Creative and Strategic Thought. CICST. Not terribly catchy, but phonetically it seems to work for me.

    I think there have been two issues on my mine. Corporate tax cuts and the far north.

    With regard to corporate tax cuts, I'm thinking that if the government puts them through without linking them in some way to corporate citizenship we've lost a hell of a good chance. Why not make money contributed to retirement funds for employees deductable at a slightly higher rate than normal. That way, the more they contribute, the bigger their tax cut. It also helps ensure better levels of savings across the company too. Any thoughts?

    The far north issues are for another post I think. WAY to much to say on that.

  • Networking Without Focus

    I've been invited to a seminar on personal branding tonight that interests me, but I have some reservations. Obviously, the personal branding market has some cliches and the typical things that are trotted out each and every time. However, this could be a great networking opportunity.

    That being said, I've recently had issues with networking. Not the process, as I still find meeting people to be wonderfully fun, but in the usefulness of networking as a tool. Right now I find that I'm lacking a focus, and that impacts my ability to network. The best way to network is to meet the people who help you move from point A to point B. However, if you don't know where point B is, is there another way to use the strategy to your advantage other than just working by volume and hoping for a random connection?

  • Two Seperate Worlds

    I've come to the conclusion that Ottawa seems to exist in an entirely seperate dimension of existence than the rest of the country. Why or why are they playing chicken with trying to start a new election when the results will likely be exactly the same? Don't they have anything better to do with their time?

    I heard a number quoted for the cost of an election. 300 million dollars. Certainly not chump change. Especially when they're throwing around talk of major tax cuts. It's ironic. A simple strategy of keeping everything where it is and paying off as much debt as possible would leave us fiscally much better off than we are right now. Less income to paying debt means more income to spend/taxes to cut.

    I'm beginning to think very few people in our nation's capital can even balance their own chequebooks.

  • The Environment and the National Post

    I had a chance to take a peak in the national post on the weekend, and I saw something that annoyed me. In a topical editorial on Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize, they were attempting to disprove the precepts of his film.

    In many ways I'm not a big fan of Al Gore. I dislike when good concepts get attached to a single individual through the cult of personality. However, I dislike more when people try to disprove ideas with shoddy logic.

    The thing that I distinctly remember (I don't have the article in front of me) was in reference to the effect of melting the glaciers of Greenland. (Paraphrasing painfully) Gore said that the melting ice caps would raise water levels around the world and flood low lying areas, and the National Post countered with saying that the ice caps aren't going to melt as fast as Gore said. Hmmm. First, that's like me saying "I have an apple" and you replying "Fruits are high in sugar". Second, it counters the opinions of one scientist with the opinions of another. People need to realize that science is a community of disputes.

    In the end, reducing our production of pollutants that lead to climate change is a win-win situation, and one of the few in this world. If I insulate my house, I produce less pollution heating my house, AND I SAVE MONEY. Yes, that's right, it benefits me. I also inhale less pollutants and suffer less effects, but I save money. If my car gets better mileage, I pollute less and I SAVE MONEY. The scary thing is that all of these arguements ignore the basic fact that if we improve our efficiency we save money. Even if global warming is a hoax, my home insulation kit cost me $20. It cut so much off my gas bills that they gave me 2 months of free natural gas to balance out the bill, and the subsequent bills are about $30/month lower. If it's a hoax that puts money in my pocket at no harm to anyone, hoax on me baby, hoax on me.

    And since pollution harms our health, we're healthier, richer people. Wow, that doesn't sound so bad. Now if it isn't a hoax, we're healthier richer people who still have dry land to stand on. I like the sounds of that as well.

    Win-win. The only way to lose is to get so caught up in argueing that you forget to see the truth of the matter.

  • Ending Summer and Delivered Election Goodies

    Well, I admit I was hard pressed to motivate myself to blog this summer as the weather was by and large a wonderful thing to behold.

    Hmm, the quick catch-up. Lots of family visits, I went all domestic in the new house and it really is quite lovely to look at.

    Inspirations to start the new government: They kept a promise! As much as it really was the most insignificant of the promises made, I approve of a positive start. Anyway, I recall having read somewhere that depressive episodes and suicides rise in February as we lack any kind of stat holiday to break up the winter blah. I'm not sure where I heard it or how truthful it is, but I can certainly appreciate the concept. I know that getting a long weekend helps me feel better about the world in gneral, so maybe the same applies to everyone else?

    I shall try to be a more regular resident of the blogging world again now that fall is driving me indoors more. I hopw you all had fantastic summers!

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