So What’s the Point, Anyway?

I sit down at my computer with an idea that’s been running around in my head for a week or two and start typing. An hour later, I examine my handiwork — it’s beautiful! But as I look closer, I start asking myself “So what’s the point, anyway? Why would anyone else care?” What good is a piece if it is nothing more than me rambling? I want people to be able to take something away from my ramblings…. The next question is, What do I do? Do I scrape this piece? Or do I rewrite it? Neither option presents an easy solution. I’ve been down this road a couple times now…

Garrrr! Why does good writing have to be so hard?!?

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Life at 280x

I enjoy tinkering, but due to time constraints and what I have laying around, most of my tinkering involves either my website or my computer. However, the other day I read about how to turn a TI-83 into an intervalometer, connect it to a a camera, let it take pictures for a while, and then turn the stream of photos in a time lapse movie. Well, I had both the calculator and a camera at home, so I was off to the races! Check out my finished result - I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out.

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The North American Union

I came across a very interesting “social science fiction” essay today at All About Cities, by Wendy Waters. What she proposes is that over the next 20 (!) or so years, American cities, burdened with the efforts of keeping up their infrastructure and their level of prosperity, will give up on trying to get the money needed out of the federal government, and so, starting with New York, will declare independence to take control of their financial house. Within a few years, most major cities in the States will follow suit, and Americans and their companies will flee Canada and these new city-states. Give it a few more years, and these cities states will band together to form a union à la European Union, with the end game of Canada and the United States become a common political union, built from a basis of these city-states. I was very impressed when I first read this, because it’s one of the few probable explanations of how Canada and the States could merge into a single political entity. However, I can’t help but poke a few holes in the logic.

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Cheap Oil’s Gone; Now What?

Cheap Oil’s Gone; Now What?

What’s right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity — intellect and resources — to do some thing about them.

— Henry Ford

Oil is at an all-time high, and everything seems to be pointing to the price to keep going up. So what does that mean to you and I over the next few years?

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Dilbert: Always Good For a Laugh!

Every so often I need a good laugh…and “Dilbert” by Scott Adams so often fits the bill. For those of you out of the loop, Dilbert is the engineer with the upturned tie who has a rather depressing social life and an imbecile of a boss. The humour, I suppose, comes from the fact the situations Dilbert has to deal with are far too common in cubicle-land. The official site carries the last month of cartoons (“Dilbert” is published daily), but that’s not very useful to pull up my all-time favourites. Yesterday I found the solution! This guy, S Anand, has put together a collection of Dilbert comics stretching back over six years! Check it out —> Dilbert Browser

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Goals and Perseverance

I came across I quote this week that really got me thinking.

When in situations of stress, we wonder if there is any more in us to give, we can be comforted to know that God, who knows our capacities perfectly placed us here to succeed. No one was foreordained to fail… When we have been weighted and found wanting, let us remember that we were measured before and found equal to our tasks.

— Neal Maxwell

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To Do, Could Do, Should Do

To Do, Could Do, Should Do
One of the classic time management tools is a list of things that need your attention; a “To Do” list. In its simplest form, it is a list. However, when keeping such a general list, I often find myself overwhelmed by the number of items and the fact that the more I used the list the longer it would grow. I found that if I separated those items that needed my attention now from those that I wanted to keep on my list for reference, my “To Do” list was still useful, and I didn’t find myself overwhelmed. I break my list into three sections: To Do, Should Do, and Could Do.

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Problems on the Interstate

Problems on the Interstate
The Eisenhower Interstate program was brilliant for its day — it created a national system of freeways that crisscrossed the United States, and has done much to provide the infrastructural backbone to today’s booming service industry. But the interstate has in turn caused other problems, including suburban sprawl, funding and mode dependence, and a lack of vision.

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My Wallet on a Diet

I go to the store. They say I get a discount if I have their club card. So some paperwork and five minutes later, I have a 2” by 4” hunk of plastic and more $10 in my pocket than I otherwise would have. But now what do I do with it? I already have a collection of similar hunks of plastic, making my wallet too fat. My option is to keep them somewhere other than my wallet, inevitably, when I want it next, I won’t have it and will be out $10.

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My dot CA Story

I couple of days ago I got an email from the CIRA announcing their “Tell Us Your dot CA Story” contest. At first I brushed it off thinking “I have no chance of winning”, but I decided, on second thought, to write something because I wouldn’t mind a new computer, and I figured it would make a good post. Looking at it now, I think it’s probably good enough to end up on my “About Me” page on my site! My entry:

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