Starting fresh

January 1, 2010

I recently had an e-mail conversation with Kneale Mann about my top 5 goals for 2010 – more about #1 in a bit, but the second on my list was to blog more regularly.  And in order to do that, I said I would need to work on achieving a better balance in my writing.

What I meant by that was, well, here’s what I said to Kneale in my e-mail:

I write well, but it takes me too long – I am by nature a perfectionist, and when combined with my great respect for language, it means I end up spending a lot of time reviewing, editing and rewriting until I feel every word in what I’ve written deserves to be there.

So the first step is writing this post today; the second will be to heed Voltaire’s aphorism Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien (“The best is the enemy of the good“) and not sweat each post so much.

What else did I have in my list of goals? Let’s see:

  • #3: Help the CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm program at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph become even more successful.  K and I have been members of the CSA for a couple of seasons now and have really benefitted from the organic produce we received in our weekly share of the harvest.  In the Fall of 2009 we volunteered to be part of the CSA’s “Core Group” and I have also joined their BAC (Business Advisory Committee) to help with the financial side of the CSA.
  • #4: Expand my circle of on-line connections – I’ve benefitted enormously in the past 3-4 years from making connections on-line (many of which have led to face-to-face relationships).  That said, I will continue to be discriminating about who I connect with – I don’t need to “friend” everyone, just the right people: intelligent, socially committed and willing to act in order to make the world better.
  • #5: Write the next killer non-fiction book, using everything I’ve observed about people, corporations, governments, crowds and their behaviour to explain how we’ve managed to screw the world up so badly. And if I’m lucky, come up with some useful suggestions to alter that course before it all ends very, very badly for humanity.

As I said in my e-mail:

#5 is what they call a “stretch goal” (and it’s a BIG stretch, but hey, as they say “Go big or go home”).  The other 4 are emminently do-able, I think.  Not necessarily easy, but do-able.

So, #2 is underway (you’re reading this post, aren’t you?), #3 has been started and will continue (next BAC meeting is in several weeks) and #4 is happening all the time – if you’re not already one of my connections, you can start by leaving a comment here or by finding me elsewhere on the interwebs: I’m on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to name a few places we can connect.

Oh, and #1 goal for 2010? Well, this one wasn’t quite what Kneale had in mind when he asked for my goals, since he was looking for ones that were things that others could aspire to and this one is a very self-centred goal (although I’m sure that there are many out there with the same one right now):

  • #1: Find employment – whether this is a full-time position with a company, contract work or consulting. Gotta pay the bills.

If you want to connect about helping me achieve that one, I’d certainly be interested in hearing about opportunities that would suit my particular skills, strengths and experience.  If you want to know more about what I’ve done, you can see my Curriculum Vitae page (there’s a downloadable PDF version of my résumé availble there too).

There, done. And without sweating the details… too much, anyway.


The Non-Coalition of Canadians For The Prorogation Of Damn Near Everything

December 4, 2008

Since hearing the sad news today that Her Excellency Governor General Michaëlle Jean has accepted the request of the Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prorogue the 40th Canadian Parliament, I have reflected on my post of yesterday declaiming exactly this undemocratic maneuvre of requesting the prorogation of Parliament for the, to my eyes at least, fairly venal purpose of saving the Prime Minister’s job and dodging his accountability for the government’s fiscally irresponsible actions (Canada had already been running a deficit earlier this year, and then when the economic crisis hit full force, the PM announced that he was prepared to do so even more vigourously in an attempt to stimulate the economy…  let’s see, the economy was already tanking whilst running a deficit, so we’ll keep trying that until it works.  Riiiiight!  You know what they say about insanity: it’s when you do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.)

Yes, I am recanting (OK, maybe not so much… read on) my position — rather than see purely the negative in the PM’s self-serving actions, why not learn and profit from them?  Why not, indeed?

So, to that end lets take a positive look at his actions and see how we can all apply the same sort of logic (erm, well, if you can call it that…) to the lives of ordinary, everyday Canadians like you and me.

And having thought about how the PM’s actions can serve as a lesson to us all, it came to me in a flash of inspiration: The Non-Coalition of Canadians For The Prorogation Of Damn Near Everything (or TNCOCFTPODNE — really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?)

So just what does the TNCOCFTPODNE think we should all do in a show of solidarity with the poor, beleaguered PM?  Here’s the FAQ:

Afraid of losing your job due to a layoff, downsizing, rightsizing, off-shoring or just plain old greedy profit taking?  Request the GG to prorogue job losses!

Mortgage payments are too high?  Request the GG to prorogue your mortgage!

Can’t afford your car loan?  Request the GG to prorogue that too!

Credit card companies are hounding you?  Easy — get the GG to prorogue those pesky statements!

I have started a Facebook group for TNCOCFTPODNE, which is open to one and all.  Join now and start enjoying the freedom from stress that the prorogation of damn near everything will bring you!


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