Beyond the Rhetoric


Happy Halloween

October 31st, 2014 by Michael Kwan

halloween bokeh

Halloween can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For the youngest among us, Halloween means having the opportunity to dress up in an awesome costume, going door to door on an epic trick-or-treat adventure. For older kids and young adults, Halloween might mean going to a costume party and engaging in some debauchery. For me, Halloween is more about getting scared stupid with a great horror movie.

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Grammar 101: Nip It In The Bud or Butt?

October 30th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

It’s time to explore another English idiom that many people often get wrong. Just as someone might refer to a “mother load” when they really mean to say “mother lode” instead, it is surprisingly common to hear people talking about nipping something in the “butt” when the correct idiom is to “nip it in the bud.”

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What’s Up Wednesdays: The Productive Life

October 29th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Moleskine + muji = power

We all make the assumption that it is in our own best interest to set appropriate goals and then to work toward them. Dan Williams disagrees. While they can serve a purpose, goals can be toxic as they can blind you from other opportunities and make you forget about the importance of the process. In his own words, “the old adage ‘Never lose sight of your goals’ is completely backwards. *Always* lose sight of your goals, be on the lookout for branches that bear more fruit, and pray that you never reach the end.”

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On Seeking Validation (It’s Not About You)

October 28th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

GottaCon 2014

It’s a very common piece of advice. Don’t worry what other people think. Just keep doing what you want to do and what you think is right and everything will work itself out in the end. People that provide you with this little nugget of wisdom surely mean well, but just like assuming that the money will follow, it is ultimately a naive perspective that isn’t particularly practical. Humans are, after all, a social species.
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Charging for PayPal Fees and Other Transaction Costs

October 27th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Woody, plumber, figures out the charges, and writes down credit card number for charging, calculator, he has workingman hands, Seattle, Washington, USA

There are many factors that go into determining a rate quote for any given freelance writing project. We have to look at the overall scope of the writing project, for example, as well as the amount of research or background work that is needed. If I need to purchase a specific product or subscribe to a specific service especially for the project, then that cost needs to be passed on to the client just as an auto mechanic would charge a customer for required parts.

But what about the costs associated with the actual transaction itself? In the case of online payments, this naturally lends itself to a discussion of PayPal fees. A friend and colleague of mine recently posed the question of whether or not you should be charging clients extra in order to cover the PayPal fees involved in collecting payments.

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Sunday Snippet: Happy Birthday Edition

October 26th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Camilo's 2nd Birthday party

“I intend to live forever. So far, so good.”

Today is my birthday and I am now firmly ensconced in my 30s. I’m not really sure how I feel about that, as it seems like I’m too old to be “young” and too young to be considered “old.” I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective and opinion. Maybe I really should borrow a page out of the book of American comedian Steven Wright, who uttered the profoundly absurd but strangely true words above.

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My Vancouver Restaurant Bucket List

October 24th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Lamb Popsicles

Unsurprisingly, ever since Adalynn entered the picture, our culinary adventures have slowed considerably. There is just so much great food to eat in this city and it feels like a new Vancouver restaurant is opening up every week. We fully intend on continuing our dining exploits in the near future and, in the meantime, I’ve been accumulating a list of places I’d like to try.

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The Greatest Feeling in the World Is Not Accomplishment

October 23rd, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Smiling Baby - Coco Isabella

We could talk all day about the true meaning of life and, at the end of the day, we could just as easily be right back where we started. Instead, most of us would likely agree that we share the common goal of happiness. It’s a terrific feeling, but it is inherently far too vague to have any practical applications. What does it really mean to be happy? And how do you get there?

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