Beyond the Rhetoric


Babies Are Supposed to Be Expensive, Right?

January 30th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Adalynn with Oball

New parents and parents-to-be hear the same warnings from their friends and family all the time. Get as much as sleep as you can now, because you won’t be getting any once the baby arrives. You can say goodbye to your sex life too. And let’s not forget just how much babies cost these days. Diapers don’t grow on trees and the little one could literally poop you out of house and home.

And while these sage words of “wisdom” are rooted in some grain of truth, they do tend to blow things out of proportion. Of course, I’m only speaking from the perspective of being a dad for a few short months, but I have found that little baby Adalynn hasn’t been as overwhelmingly expensive as we had anticipated.

Click to continue reading »

On the Notion of Being a Humble Elitist

January 29th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

You can free the world, you can free my mind...

Life is full of contradictions. We are told that birds of a feather flock together, yet at the same time, we are also told that opposites attract. One day we’re told that drinking milk helps to build strong bones; the next day we’re told that cow’s milk is a seriously bad idea. And even in our own minds, we convince ourselves of thoughts that are utterly contradictory. This is how I’ve come to view myself as the humble elitist.

Click to continue reading »

What’s Up Wednesdays: The Walking Dead

January 28th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

The Walking Dead

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you lived in a fictional universe? We open this week’s speedlink with Stacey Robinsmith as he compares life on a TV show or movie with the real world. What if everything were scripted like The Truman Show and it just seemed pleasant? Or would going back to survival basics with Rick and Daryl on The Walking Dead be more fulfilling? Aside from the flesh-hungry undead, of course.

Click to continue reading »

Grammar 101: Phase or Faze Me

January 27th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

Once again, we encounter a couple of words that sound exactly the same when they are said but have entirely different spellings and meanings when they are written out. As with so many of these word pairs, the confusion between phase and faze is further exacerbated by the fact that the latter is uttered far more often than it is written. This may explain why so many people write phase when they really mean to write faze.

Click to continue reading »

Dine Out Vancouver: Cork & Fin (Gastown)

January 26th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Cork & Fin, Vancouver

Yes, it’s that time of year again when all the amateur foodies flood some of the city’s finest restaurants and casual eateries. Dine Out Vancouver 2015 is now in full swing and unlike previous years, I only have one restaurant on my list for 2015. Late last week, a few friends and I (along with Adalynn) made our way to Cork & Fin in Gastown for their $28 Dine Out Vancouver menu.

Click to continue reading »

Sunday Snippet: Made by Raffi (Craig Pomranz)

January 25th, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Made by Raffi

“Soon Raffi was knitting everywhere — in his bed, in the bathroom, at breakfast… even on the school bus. It was a long way to school and some of the children teased him. And it didn’t help that Dad’s scarf grew to 12 feet long and trailed all down the aisle of the bus. Ruby almost tripped over it, and all the children laughed. But Raffi just wrapped the scarf round his neck three times and kept on knitting.”

A short while ago, I commented on the gender-appropriateness of toys for children. For reasons that are likely economically-motivated, toy companies have decided that it is far more profitable to have a clear distinction between what is a boy’s toy and what is a girl’s toy. The former is likely involved in construction (or destruction) and the latter is likely pink and sparkly. This sort of differentiation is not restricted solely to toys either as we can observe the same phenomenon in children’s activities too.

Click to continue reading »

Wanderlust: 25 Places to Visit Before I Retire

January 23rd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Egito - Colosso de Memnon

Something that I’ve said before and I likely will say again is that travel is one of the best ways to spend your money. It may feel awfully tempting to spend your money on shiny new gadgets or a spiffy new outfit, but the memories and experiences you gain through international travel are invaluable. The wanderlust is strong once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug.

In the last few years, I’ve engulfed myself in Italian culture in Florence and I’ve encountered the wild animals of the Australian Outback. I’ve also survived the Great Wall of China, indulged in the night markets of Taipei and stepped into the past with the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum. But there is so much more of the world I want to see with my own eyes and experience first-hand.

Click to continue reading »

Fitting Work into My Life Schedule

January 22nd, 2015 by Michael Kwan

Work life balance

Several years ago, I wrote a post about whether or not freelancers should have a set working schedule. Ask many a productivity expert and they’ll tell you that one of the best ways to achieve work-life balance when you work from home is to establish true office hours. This way, you have a tighter differentiation between what is considered work time and what is considered leisure time.

Click to continue reading »