Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: Learn Something New

November 26th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

broken suicidal pig

Every Wednesday, I share some fun or informative reads from around the Internet. This week, start off with Mike Holman providing some of the key information you’ll want to learn about RESP contributions. While it may seem too early to think about Adalynn’s post secondary education, taking advantage of the government grants that come along with a registered education savings plan is definitely worth my while. It’s like free money and the interest can accrue tax-free.

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Grammar 101: Newborn, Baby or Infant?

November 25th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Newborn Anna

Even when words have very similar definitions, they can carry wildly different connotations. Whether you refer to the “accused” or the “defendant” in a criminal court case could impact how someone interprets what you say. A house may be just a physical building, but you may have more emotional attachment to your home. And that got me thinking about the terminology as it relates to children too.

A baby who is only a few days old can very justifiably be called a newborn, but is it still appropriate to use “newborn” to refer to a one-month-old? How about a four-month-old? At what age should you stop using the term “newborn” to describe that child?

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Budget Holiday Gift Guide: 8 Excellent Ideas For $40 or Less

November 24th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Christmas presents

In a post I wrote several years back, outlining some of the key gift-buying guidelines you should follow when buying Christmas presents (or any presents, for that matter), I said that you should forget about the cash value. Instead, look for a gift that you think the person will like and appreciate, particularly if it’s something he or she may not necessarily buy for themselves. And it is with that kind of philosophy in mind that I present this budget-oriented holiday gift guide to you. A great gift shouldn’t have to break the bank and all of these options can be had for less than forty bucks.

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Sunday Snippet: Scott Kurtz (PvP Comic)

November 23rd, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Scott Kurtz

“If I’ve learned one thing in the 14 years I’ve been a full-time cartoonist, it’s that you can not let anyone else define your professionalism. It has to be a personal ethos to which you adhere despite third party influence or acceptance. The old measuring sticks for professionalism are going away and now more than ever it’s time for independent creatives to set the bar. Set it high.”

As a professional freelance writer who thinks he has a creative side to him, I’ve learned many a profound life lesson from cartoonists and comic strip creators, whether I’m shaking a snow globe with Gary Larson (The Far Side), getting influenced with Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse), or creating problems with Scott Adams (Dilbert). Even before I embarked on this career as an independent small business owner, I felt like I wanted to take a more unconventional path.

Looking back, I can see how the career of a traditional cartoonist would not be all that different from that of a freelance writer. You create your content and then you hope to sell that content for a profit. The key difference is that the three individuals I named above came from more a traditional print perspective. Their comics got syndicated in newspapers across the country and around the world.

Today’s industry is different. Web comics dominate the space.

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Why I Bought a Year-Old Smartphone

November 21st, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Google Nexus 5 Smartphone

Considering that a good part of what I do as a freelance writer is cover the world of technology and consumer electronics, the natural assumption is that I will always buy the newest and shiniest toy on the block. My cell phone contract just expired, so I became eligible for a hardware upgrade and was on the hunt for a new smartphone. Did I get a Galaxy Note 4? A OnePlus One? A 2014 Moto X? No. My new smartphone is actually something that came out last year: a Nexus 5.

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5 Things That Change When You Have a Baby

November 20th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Baby Blues

Having a child is, quite literally, a life changing event. In many ways, it is even more profound and far-reaching of a change than moving out for the first time, getting married or starting your first career. Being responsible for a rather helpless little baby is all-encompassing and it is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. That’s a big part of the reason why we over-think everything and stress ourselves out over the matter. Everything changes.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Now That’s Entertainment

November 19th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Flashbacks arcade, Seaside Heights, NJ, 7/25/09 - 8 of 20

Did you know that the predecessor to Beyond the Rhetoric was a humble Geocities site called Now That’s Entertainment? Following that fun little tidbit, this week’s speedlink has a dash of nostalgia mixed in with all sorts of ways to keep entertained.

In the case of Zach Rosenberg, he’s sad that his son will never get to enjoy playing video games at the arcade the same way that he did in his youth. I also grew up as an arcade brat and while those stained carpets and sticky controls left a lot to be desired, there is something incredibly satisfying about placing your quarter on the ledge of a Street Fighter II cabinet to indicate you’ve got next.

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Recent Entries in #KwansCreativeCatering

November 18th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Jerk Chicken

Here on Beyond the Rhetoric, I’ve developed the habit of reviewing a lot of restaurants. In addition to all the eateries in and around the Vancouver area, I’ve also highlighted several from more exotic locations around the world. However, we haven’t been eating out nearly as much as we usually do these last couple of months, since we’re busy taking care of our newborn daughter. Instead, we’ve been cooking most of our meals at home.

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