Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

A quick note wishing those of you who have already celebrated it, and those who have yet to (and those who go on different calendars who celebrate it at an entirely different time), a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006


No, I am not knocking at your door so that I can come in and clean. That would be "Housekeeping!" Instead, just letting you know that due to some new functions with my blog host I am able to add tags to each post. As such, you'll see tags at the end of each post. By following one you can find other similarly themed posts. Just a note, I've just started adding these tags and I have 190 posts to go through. Hopefully the holiday spirit will encourage you to give me some slack if not everyone of my posts has tags immediately. If slack is too much to ask, then you can... do whatever you want, it's your life. I'll get to them in my own sweet time.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Want it? Can't have it!

It's the strangest thing. While I am really enjoying my holiday and time spent with friends and family, I feel as though everywhere I am, I want to be somewhere else. Everyone that I see, makes me want to see someone else.

I have been truly lucky to spend my holiday in great places with great people but I still find myself longing for other experiences. That being said, I am not doing anything in particular to make the "other experiences" a reality. I can only believe that that is due in part to the fact that I am enjoying myself and what I'm doing.

It may be part of a larger personality trait that I carry with me, the fear of committing to any one thing. I feel like I worry about missing out on some other experience or connection and that keeps me from making the most of those things that I choose to do and getting the most out of the time I spend with those who are important to me.

Maybe I need to be able to compartmentalize better, to see the present experience as the whole experience. "Live in the now." I do like the essence of that quote. It may be a life-long goal to bring myself more in line with it's advice. Still, I recognize that I wouldn't be me if I were to completely shift away from my tendency to (over)analyze. I guess this is where balance comes in. Time then, for me to go test the balance beam.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

To those, I've seen over the holiday: It has been a pleasure. To those that I won't get to see: I am sorry we have missed each other but am thankful for our connection (I mean, you wouldn't be reading this if we weren't connected).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Happy Christmas!

Warm wishes to all of you. Joyeux Noël! En God Jul!

Now that you've read that, stop ignoring your family, get away from the computer and get back to eating!

Friday, December 22, 2006

In light of the season, this may be a timely quote:

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

-Bertrand Russell

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Your life is going to improve. Your days are going to seem brighter. Wait... Your days will be brighter. In fact, you've got about 182 days that will continue to brighten. Hopefully, in doing so, your days will brighten too.

Oh ya, it's also time for the holiday that many folk have likely been looking for (unless you're stuck in retail or a hospital or some other such thing). A holiday may just be the light at the end of the tunnel that you were looking for. I know I'm not complaining.

Happy Holidaying!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Human Nature

First of all, I'm wary of a term like "Human Nature" because it makes a broad assumption that humans share particular thought processes. It's kinda like "common sense", besides the assumption that people share a broad belief it also implies that the majority belief (the "common" part of "common sense") is the way to go.

I will cop to the fact that these terms do serve us. If we could not paint aspects of our world with a wide brush we might be quickly overwhelmed by the minutiae and detail associated with it all. It does serve a purpose. There, I said it. Still, I think it is important that we approach things consciously and remain prepared to ask questions.

Ok, that tirade out of the way. Now to the reason that I was posting, Global Warming. Clearly this is going to be an uplifting post. ;)

I've been lucky enough to start my holiday early and am in the big city. Sunday was almost 13 degrees! That's WAY over the "normal" temperature for this time of year. The problem lies in the fact that at this time of year, plenty of people think "if this is global warming, then give me a double-helping." Of course, "this" isn't global warming and no, we don't want "seconds". Maybe the name is part of the problem. If it had been called Global Cooling then when the weather gets particularly bitter, people might support the fight against it. That would only be a half-answer as the weather 6 months from now might make people ask for it rather than fight it. The fact is: it's not Global Cooling. The changing weather patterns with more and more intense storms and "weather events" are more representative of the effects of Global Warming than just mere changes in temperature.

It seems to, all too often, come down to if and how it affects us. Perhaps that is why it so often takes disasters to spur us to respond rather than forward planning. I wish that were not the case, particularly when it is something that affects everyone who lives on this planet.

Until we do recognize it, I'll be wandering in this "unseasonably" warm weather. I wonder how long we'll be able to call anything "unseasonable"?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ads, ads everywhere!

Consider this an incomplete tirade as I'm not going to take the time to target our crass consumerism around the holiday period. Instead, I'm focussing on the "viral" nature of advertising and what may or may not be considered effective. Dove has effectively used Youtube, as have many others. At least in many cases you can watch or look at something and know immediately it is an ad. Sometimes though, they are a little sneakier. Take "Will it blend?" for example. This is a site where a guy regularly puts things in the blender to answer the age-old question "Will it blend?". While it might have been simply entertainment, and it can be entertaining, there are enough links to information about the brand of blender for me to feel pretty comfortable that this is all meant to drum-up business. Still, if you make something interesting/entertaining/stupid enough that people feel the need to blog about it, watch it, or whatever then maybe you're just an advertising genius and we should bow down before you and buy six copies of your latest product (one for all of our friends) and get all excited about the new model coming out in '07. ;) That, or maybe we should just watch it, enjoy it, but take it (like everything) with a grain of salt.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's that time of year again

While it is the holiday season, that's not what I'm talking about. As we get near the end of the calendar year, lists start appearing. Best music, worst movies, longest fingernails, whatever. I actually find it kinda fun. Sure, it's arbitrary but it's an interesting way to revisit a year. It can serve as a reminder of many other goings-on. It is also one last chance for things that wouldn't otherwise warrant further recognition to see the light of day. Thus, the BBC brings you: 100 things we didn't know this time last year. Interesting, entertaining, and stuff that wouldn't have necessarily made the news here in Canada or beyond the UK. Enjoy!

Monday, December 11, 2006

I am a multitude

I love that I can consider myself a socially-responsible person and can still find this article funny.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I may have already shared with you my love for Postsecret. I have had a link to it along the side --> for about as long as this blog has existed but I don't know whether it has received any introduction.

It began as an art project by Frank Warren, of Germantown, Maryland, USA. He distributed 3000 blank postcards to people in all manner of ways. Each invited the person to share their deepest secrets anonymously on the back of the postcard. A simple, yet hugely effective project. I seem to recall hearing about it through the BBC. As of the time of writing, the site (which posts a new collection of postcards each Sunday) has received 54574779 hits. In case you have trouble figuging it out without some commas in there, that is OVER 54 MILLION hits. Needless to say, that's more than my blog by a few orders of magnitude. Postcards arrive from around the world. This though, was not some effort at fame. Frank has conciously chosen not to allow advertising on the site, which surely would bring in quite a sum of money. Still, money is important, though in this case, not specifically for Frank and his family. Instead, any requests for support have been in support of Hopeline, a US-based suicide prevention call centre. It is obvious through both the postcards and responses that this endeavour has benefited many people and likely helped them choose to avoid such an end.

Even when it is not touching on issues of such import, Postsecret serves as an outlet for thousands and for those that choose not to send their secrets, an opportunity to realize that their secret does not make them an outsider. Instead, they can see through the secrets of others, that they are part of a large international community.

Speaking of community, a secret was posted last week by someone who found solace going alone to movie theatres but held out hope and the belief that they would connect with another person sharing their experience. An e-mail response was posted not long after from someone who said that they would be at the movies that night and would love to meet. As neither knew which city (or even country) the other was in, the e-mailer signed their message "waiting with a white hat". This inspired others to attend movies with a white hat to represent their openness to connecting with others there. It even inspired the development of a blog White Hat Stories. In just over a week it has garnered responses from around the world and already seems to have inspired many. While so many sad things happen in this world, efforts like this are a wonderful reminder of the caring that exists in so many people's hearts.

Also note that there are two (with a third on the way) Postsecret books. A poigniant holiday gift, perhaps? Everyone has or has had secrets. Maybe something like this might be just the inspiration necessary to let it go.


To those of you who are directionally deficient, assistance with navigation could be really helpful. Now imagine you're trying to find your way through the byzantine maze that is the Canadian medical system. What about when dealing with a potentially deadly disease like cancer? While I don't have any particular plans to leave my current vocation, I was genuinely interested in the positions of "patient navigators" mentioned in this article. I enjoy the work I do, in large part, because I get to help people. I feel like the support that these "patient navigators" provide is indispensable to those who find themselves in need of their services. It seems that problem-solving is only part of the process. Recognition as a human being, sadly, is also an area of service that they provide. I am amazed at how easily such an integral part of someone's well-being can be overlooked. There are enough studies out there that point to people's mental state directly influences their health and well-being that treating someone as a number just doesn't seem to cut it. Everybody wants the people they interact with to be invested in them. What about when your life is at stake? What happens if the person leading you on the journey doesn't (seem to) care about who you are? I don't think that would be good for my journey back to good health and so I can't imagine it would be good for others (I'm clearly very self-centered). So cheers, to "patient navigators" who can advocate on behalf of people at the time when they can probably most use such support.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Equality and Human Rights

Sounds like a no-brainer, eh? Especially in a developed country like Canada, right? Well, it's not quite that rosy. This Sunday, December 10, is International Human Rights Day. This is truly a day that should be recognized across the planet but here in our own backyard, the government's decisions to take funding away from Status of Women offices throughout the country, as well as the decision not to support a National Childcare system are prime examples of less than equitable treatment. So, on Sunday, there will be a march in support of Women's rights, Equality and Justice at our Supreme Court. In case you won't be in our Nation's Capital this weekend, find out what you can do through the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action. It's a shame that such events and efforts are even required. I'd love to imagine a day when the world would be equitable without the constant efforts of many. Love to, but you won't find me holding my breath.

Thanks to "Chipy" for drawing my attention to what's going on.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Status of Women

Our Conservative government has just ended funding for Status of Women offices throughout the country. It is a sad step, and one who's idiocy is highlighted by today's anniversary. Since 1991, December 6 has been known as the National Day for Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

I believe there is still a great need for the efforts of an office like the Status of Women. I hope that those who govern our country, regardless of their political stripes will recognize that and act.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


If today were International Talk Like a Ninja Day then the title of this post would be the extent you would hear. Luckily, it's actually International Creep Like a Ninja Day which means you can make all the noise you want as long as you move around stealthily. To some, it is merely Day of the Ninja. While this kind of day is just my thing, I am saddened that it comes to blows with another day that is close to my heart, none other than International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It appears that there's some bad blood between the Ninjas and the Pirates. Can't we all just get along? Imagine if the two groups could work together. What a world we would live in. I'll leave you to picture the utopia.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Is Red turning Green?

So who amongst you is going to give me my cricket primer? One measly response from a librarian that finds cricket too boring to figure out. Sad. This is a chance to expand your bubble immeasurably. ;)

In the world outside of cricket, some of you may know that Stéphane Dion was chosen to be the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was a "dark horse" in that he wasn't really expected to win going into this weekend's convention. While he may not have been my personal first choice, there are some good reasons why he was chosen. One area of particular interest to me is his environmental credentials. Well, who am I to speak about credentials? Having said that, he was the Minister of the Environment. He and his family also have a husky named "Kyoto". In this case it is in reference to the Environmental Accord of the same name and not the city itself. I can only hope that he will represent a clear alternative to many of the Harper government's misguided efforts (in my opinion, of course) especially with relation to the environment. Maybe, just maybe, the Liberal Red will turn an Environmental Green. Just in time for Christmas too. :)

I probably shouldn't be wading into politics and should keep my pedantic, self-centred mumblings to myself. Then again, this would be a damn boring blog if I did.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Going to the GTA

Chew on this while I'm gone.

I expect you to know all about cricket by the time I get back.