Beyond the Rhetoric


On the Pursuit of Enlightenment

August 21st, 2014 by Michael Kwan


We all want to feel like our actions have a purpose. I go to the grocery store with a shopping list in tow. If I exit the grocery store with every item ticked off the list, I can feel a certain sense of accomplishment, however small it may be. You might go to university with the idea that earning that degree will help launch your professional career. The purpose behind these actions goes beyond the actions themselves. We have to remember, though, that this isn’t always the case.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Late Summer Nights

August 20th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Cliffs at Helliwell Provincial Park

That’s right! It’s time for the weekly speedlink here on Beyond the Rhetoric. Kicking things off, Jennifer Mattern from All Indie Writers recently interviewed me about freelancing and my book, Beyond the Margins. In the interview, we discuss such topics as what I hope buyers of the book will gain from reading it, how I overcame a particularly nasty freelance writing scam that I experienced, and where to find a consistent source of self-motivation.

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Dinner at BT Cafe on Kingsway, Vancouver

August 19th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

BT Cafe Vancouver

There’s a stretch of Kingsway, roughly starting at Fraser and running to Nanaimo (and beyond), that has always been known for having a large concentration of Vietnamese restaurants and businesses. It wasn’t all that long ago that this was made a little more official with “Little Saigon” banners on the lamp posts. And the frontage on BT Cafe is such that you could drive past it dozens of times and not even notice that it’s there. I know that was the case with me.

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The Nestle Baby Free Starter Kit (Unboxing Video)

August 18th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

The Nestle Baby Free Starter Kit (Unboxing Video)

Babies are expensive. This is something that I’ve known all along, but it has become even more real now that we’re about to have a baby of our own. Even the most basic of car seats or strollers can be several hundred dollars and let’s not forget about the expense of going through hundreds of diapers. The good news is that you can get some free stuff via the Nestle Baby Program.

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Sunday Snippet: Robin Williams (1951 – 2014)

August 17th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Robin Williams Trovato Morto In Casa Si Sospetta Il Suicidio

“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular.”

You’ve likely seen a lot of Robin Williams tributes in the last few days, both from common folk and from the celebrities who worked with him. Most people know Robin Williams for his signature brand of comedy. He was wildly animated and a man of a million voices. We treasure his performances in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Jack, the latter of which is where we find the quote above.

No one can deny his talents as a comedian, but Robin Williams was so much more than that. The emotional outpouring from showbiz types consistently highlight just how selfless and generous he was. When Norm Macdonald was just some “punk kid from rural Ontario” making his first appearance on Letterman, Robin Williams spent half an hour with him to calm his nerves and help him laugh. “It was like a dream, because no one else was there. No one.”

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Technology I Now Take for Granted (That I Didn’t Have as a Child)

August 15th, 2014 by Michael Kwan


Technology, in many ways, is the gift that keeps on giving. Over the years, those amazing scientists and engineers have blessed the world with their inventions. Because of them, we have transportation systems that don’t rely on literal horsepower. Because of them, we have electricity, microwaves and indoor plumbing. But even without going that far back, we see all sorts of technology we simply take for granted today that didn’t even really exist when I was a kid. And that wasn’t even all that long ago.

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On Exploiting Your Kids on the Internet

August 14th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Baby Dylan

In a matter of weeks, I will be the proud (and likely terrified) father of a brand new human being. It’s all still very surreal for me and getting ready for this baby has got me thinking about a lot of different things. I’ve had to learn a whole new vocabulary, I’ve had to educate myself about an entirely different product category, and I’ve had to think about what to name the little bugger. And given that I make my living on the Internet, I’ve also had to think about the issue of exploiting your kids online.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Crepes, Groot and eBooks

August 13th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Trout Lake Farmers Market, Vancouver

Two of the best things about summer in Vancouver are the food trucks and the farmers markets. Why not combine the two? We kick off this week’s speedlink with HungrySLIF and his visit to the Creperie la Boheme at the Trout Lake Farmers Market. They serve a range of buckwheat crepes with your choice of sweet or savory fillings, including many of which that are local and seasonal. I was actually so inspired by SLIF’s post that I went to Trout Lake this past weekend for a couple crepes of our own.

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