Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This one's for "In Rob We Trust" writer Rob.

If he even reads this blog.

If he hasn't already read this.

I got a kick out of it.

A letter from the Smithsonian

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Daily Meditation -- 04/24/2007

We distinguish the excellent person from the common
person by saying that the former is the one
who makes great demands on him or herself, and the latter the one who
makes no demands on him or herself.

-Jose Ortega y Gasset

I read this and immediately shook my head, taking it to be common sense. Of course it's common sense if I agree with it. So I started thinking a little more deeply. Can I find somewhere in my experience where I've disagreed with this? Can I find somewhere in my experience where someone else has disagreed with this?

Looking at the quote, I find it hard to imagine someone who makes no demands on him or herself. I guess living in an addicted haze, stumbling from one thing you need to do in order to survive to the next would be a little less demanding than facing the realities of each day, taking the hits as they come.

So maybe the excellent person is more willing to face life, whatever may come, than the common person. Maybe turning away from a sense of entitlement, opening ones eyes so they can do what needs to be done, rather than what they feel they get to do - that would be demanding.

Then again, maybe I'm just skewing the criteria, trying to fit my carcass into the uncommonly excellent slot.


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I have no idea what a //CODiE// is, but my old project (Quicken Home Inventory Manager) won for best home productivity solution.

There was, sadly, no mention of the installer.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Daily Meditations -- 4/23/2007

That's right, I'm going to try again.

Wise men don't judge: they seek to understand.

- Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon by Wei Wu Wei

I find that the hardest part of any argument is getting to the actual disagreement.

I find that rhetoric and persuasion, followed by anger and self-consciousness are barriers to that. I feel like I spend the entirety of every argument trying to break the sides down to the most basic elements. If I can do that, I'm satisfied and I end the argument, happy to understand the other person's perspective.

I'm not confrontational by any standards, despite the attempts of others to characterize me as the angry bald man. I do like vigorous conversation where points of view are debated but I've walked away from conversations where, rather than explain their part, the other people will resort to yelling and personal attacks. This doesn't happen very often, I'm glad to say. My last line in just about every disagreement I've had since I was twenty goes like this: "So what it boils down to is... ... and I can accept that we disagree on that."

As far as the judgment, I agree, it's the wise thing to try and understand, rather than pointing fingers or making snap judgments.

The Virginia Tech murders come to mind as a place where it would probably be wise to try and understand but in this instance, I chose to (and continue to choose to) judge by saying: "I'm glad he took his own life too because he doesn't deserve to live." I don't care about taxpayers money imprisoning him. I'm not American and I'm not paying to keep him alive but he just doesn't deserve to live.

Wise? No. But it's the way I feel. You may disagree, and I can accept that.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

My new bike

Friday, Kim and I went shopping for my new bike. We spent some time at the Sherwood Park mall. I'm sure it has a name beyond "Sherwood Park mall" but I don't know what it is.

We spent some time waiting for a bike to be assembled but time was bleeding away and we ended up missing out on the one shop Kim wanted us to hit.

Fortunately, there was another shop that was open for another fifteen minutes. We sped across town (actually, it was just down the road) to "Bikes and Boards" where we talked for nearly 40 minutes with the owner. In the end, I decided that JAMIS would be the next brand of bike I'd own. The guy had a two-year-old bike that a 60-year-old lady owned and that she rode a total of 12 kilometres.

I'll admit, the 60-year-old comment almost turned me off of this bike for good. I mean, who wants a bike a 60-year-old would choose? But then I decided that the way this bike fit me, the way it felt riding down the road, and the good feeling I got from this guy (when he said he'd take care of the bike if anything happened to it) decided me. I'm going to redefine this bike, from a hardly-ridden old lady's bike to a bike that a 30-year-old angry man would be proud to ride. (I just have to figure out how to get the ribbons out of the handlebars and the basket off the front. I'm keeping the clonkers on the spokes, though)

Seriously, here's what the bike basically looks like. (It's a product shot from JAMIS's site. I'll get an actual picture of it at some point)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring has Sprung, the Grass has Riz

I love spring.

I realize I'm not alone in this statement but I really love spring.

I love the same thing about spring as I do about winter. In winter, I want it to snow and snow and snow. I love snow. In spring, I can't wait until the snow's gone. And now it is, mostly.

Soon, I'll be able to bike to work. No more glares from bus-riders. No more standing there, waiting on someone else's schedule.

Soon, Nicholas will hit the soccer field and my indoor games will become outdoor games.

It's bright when I get out of the office now. I don't realize how much I miss sunshine until about this time of the year.

Everything's waking up and life is kicking into high gear.


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Late nights at Palazzo Johnstone

I stayed up late to watch the Canucks-Stars playoff game last night. I went to bed twenty minutes or so before the end of the game.

There's just something about overtime in the playoffs that I can't turn my back on. Every game is so important and you never know when it will end. I love the idea that a game could still be playing when it's time to go to work the next day.

Of course, the Sedins ruined that dream.

Speaking of the satan-twins, there's something almost hypnotic about the way they cycle the puck down low. They always seem to know where the other guy is expecting him to be and then, just like that, the puck's out front and there's a scoring chance.

I hate the Canucks but I hate the Stars worse and I'll cheer for any Canadian team as long as they're not playing against the Flames.

Nice to see Ottawa doubled up on the Pens as well.

Here's to the Flames kicking some Red-Wing tail tonight.

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