Beyond the Rhetoric


Grammar 101: A Nervous Tick

April 17th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Having an automatic spell checking utility built into your web browser, app or mobile device can be a very helpful thing. It can help you catch those random errors and typos that you may make. It can also give you a false sense of confidence that you are spelling your words correctly. This is perhaps why people may confuse the words queue and cue, for example. In much the same way, I’ve seen people mistake the word “tick” for the word “tic.”

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Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, Vancouver

April 16th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Joe Fortes, Vancouver

Located half a block off the main Robson Street shopping district in Downtown Vancouver, Joe Fortes has been serving up fresh seafood to Vancouver residents and visitors for as long as I can remember. It’s a Vancouver institution and it’s where we decided to take my dad for his birthday this past weekend.

We had some gift cards to use and, doing a little bit of research online, we learned that Joe Fortes is surprisingly kid-friendly. There’s a children’s menu, for instance, as well as high chairs and booster seats. It’s also really helpful that the handicap washroom on the lower level also has a baby change table, a relative rarity among restaurants of this type in the city.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Just Cruising

April 15th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Carnival Victory Cruise Ship

To kick off this week’s speedlink, Stacey Robinsmith takes a moment to describe his recent cruise ship experience. He most recently enjoy a trip with Princess Cruises, but he has also sailed with Holland America and Celebrity Cruises. He enjoyed the central gathering place aboard the Grand Princess and his kids liked the Youth Centre. That said, the food with the other cruise lines was superior to Princess.

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“From My Perspective… You Have It Made”

April 14th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Work from Home

The grass is always greener on the other side.

Many of us have this unfortunate habit of focusing so much of our attention on the things we don’t have that we lose sight of the things that we do have. And we have a lot. I’d imagine most readers of this blog have access to the Internet. I’d imagine most of you have a reliable source of clean drinking water, living in a home that is reasonably clean and safe. We take these things for granted, because we always want more.

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I’m Michael Kwan and This Is How I Work

April 13th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

CES 2015

Every now and then, someone I meet will be surprised to hear that I don’t have a “day job” beyond what I do as a freelance writer. Sometimes, they’ll be even more amazed that I have been able to sustain myself with my humble small business for the better part of a decade. This can lead to a conversation about a typical day in the office, how I operate my business, and how I get things done.

I cover some of these topics in my book, but I thought I would offer up an abridged version of Lifehacker’s How I Work series on my daily operations as a full-time freelance writer. Believe it or not, there is a method to my madness. And yes, I am effectively interviewing myself.

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Sunday Snippet: T. Harv Eker

April 12th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: T. Harv Eker

“The secret to success is not to try to avoid or get rid of or shrink from your problems; the secret is to grow yourself so that you are bigger than any problem.”

We all have a comfort zone. It’s a place where we can feel safe from harm, a place where we can retreat from the frustrations and fears of the real world. It’s a place where we can forget, if only temporarily, about the problems that plague us. But it is not a place where we should stay. We need to get out there. We need to act like a pitbull.

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The Hyper Awareness of a Sleep-Deprived Dad

April 10th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Sleepy dad

My sleep schedule hasn’t exactly been “normal” for the better part of the last decade. It has been far more common for me to fall asleep some time after two or three in the morning than to go to bed at a more conventional hour. Most days, I didn’t get up to start my day until some time after ten o’clock. I value my sleep greatly, because if I’m not well rested, I feel like I may not be as effective at what I do. Since becoming a dad last year, though, some things have obviously changed.

And one of those things is sleep.

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Grammar 101: Allergic vs. Allergenic

April 9th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

The words “allergic” and “allergenic” are both related to allergies, but they have different meanings and cannot be used interchangeably. This is similar to what we find with word pairs like venomous and poisonous. A snake might be venomous (active administration of poison), while certain plants might be poisonous (passive administration of poison). So, what’s the difference between something that is allergic and something that is allergenic?

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