Author: Michael Kwan

Meet Roy

While many work-at-home moms (collectively referred to as WAHMs for short) very much value that they don’t have to leave the domicile to make some money for the home, and in effect, can take care of the kids and the household chores without any additional trouble, it can be said that I find myself in much the similar situation. As a freelance writer, nearly all of my work is done from the comfort of my living room and/or home office. All of my correspondence with my clients is either via email or IM, so there really is no reason for me to have to go to a physical office (other than my own). At the same time, I get to stay at home with my kid… so to speak. Meet Roy. He’s our son, so to speak, just not in a biological sense. Roy (his full name is Roy O’Bunny, named after Owen Wilson’s character, Roy O’Bannon, from Shanghai Noon with Jackie Chan) is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit as far as we can tell, but we have a feeling that he isn’t a purebred. He has characteristics of a couple of other breeds, but he’s certainly got a personality of his own. Sometimes, he just likes to chill. Even though I leave his cage door open for most of the day, he’ll oftentimes just hang out on the plank...

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Joe Public funnier than professional comedians?

The future of the internet is not big corporations and a whole lot of pre-determined mumbo jumbo. Take a short look around and you’ll see that the largest websites out there, by a huge margin, consist of user-contributed content. MySpace, YouTube… and all these blogs (Beyond the Rhetoric included). Now that just about everyone is on high-speed internet too, a huge part of our entertainment (and bandwidth) is dedicated to funny videos. Jokeroo is one such site, posting up all sorts of content including extreme videos, prank calls, movie trailers, celebrity photos, shooting games, and — of course — funny videos. The layout is pretty straight-forward, videos stream quickly, and the content is growing quickly. Check it out. The preceding post was brought to you by...

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How Much Can You Make With AGLOCO?

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, AGLOCO is the second coming of the AllAdvantage team that flopped some time back, except this time they actually have a viable business plan, and what’s more, you can make EVEN MORE MONEY this time around. In fact, according a recent post by self-proclaimed dot com mogul John Chow, he is set to make $1,800+ a month, which is obviously no small amount to sneeze at. To recap, AGLOCO provides a toolbar that displays ads at the bottom of your internet browser window. It’s non-intrusive and has no spyware, so it’s perfectly safe. Their privacy and security settings are said to be absolutely top notch. With this “Viewbar” (which launches in 4-6 weeks), you can expect to make “between $5 and $15 a month”, but that’s not where your earnings end. Where the real money lies is in expanding your network by referring AGLOCO (which stands for A GLObal COmmunity) to other users. According to The Simmons Report (cited by John Chow), “the average AGLOCO direct referral should be worth in excess of $3,000 each.” And that’s American, folks. Now is the time to join, because if you wait for the Viewbar to launch, many people you already know would have already signed up and you’ll have a harder time expanding your network (and earning loads of free money… and yes,...

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Video: Double Dragon, 18 Years Later

I’ve been a video game player all my life, dating way back to the days of Missile Command and Defender on the Atari. But, it was only when I moved on to the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that I really started to take gaming to the next level. It was there that I was introduced to such incredible titles as Mega Man, Punch Out, and Double Dragon. We all remember the Konami code, don’t we? I love live action re-enactments of video games (check out the Related Posts at the bottom for the Live Action Mario Bros. skit), and here is yet another classic to add to your collection. Double Dragon, 18 years later, in an office setting. Cheesy combos, explosives, weapons, and all. Enjoy! Source:TechEBlog Related Posts: –Video: Top ten ways to die in a video game –Best lesser-known fighting games –What do Kramer, Nas, and Dhalsim have in common? –Top ten signs you’re a Nintendo fanboy –Live Action Mario Bros....

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It’s time for a vacation…

I need a vacation. Sure, the sun is slowly starting to show itself around these parts, but for the most part, we can still look forward to a solid couple of months of rain, cloud, and dark dreary-ness. As such, I’ve been thinking about going somewhere that’s a little different than Vancouver. I’m considering Hawaii and Mexico for the most part, but something even more exotic, maybe I should think about Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sure, I’ve experienced a touch of the “Latin America” culture when I went to Los Angeles last year, but c’mon, we know it just wouldn’t be the same as actually visiting South America. For each locale, there is inevitably a travel guide site out there for you to peruse. Buenos Tours, example, has listings for all sort of information regarding the Argentinian town, including blurbs on attractions, dining, hotels, nightlife, shopping, and more. Those who have known me for a while will know that I love interesting architecture (I once dreamed of becoming an architect). Visiting “older countries”, like those in Europe, South America, and elsewhere is quite a trip, especially considering that the oldest building in Vancouver barely reaches the century mark. It’s funny that the key building the Buenos Tours site mentions is the Abasto Shopping Center, the largest mall in the city. Yeah, a mall. I thought it would have been a...

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Dine Out Vancouver: The William Tell Restaurant

Dine Out Vancouver is a fantastic promotion that lets you sample food from upper class restaurants that you may not otherwise visit if it were not for the fantastic price during this two-week (or so) eating festival. Last week, we went to Rare Restaurant in Yaletown, and last night, I had the opportunity to head out for a quiet evening of fine dining with Susanne at William Tell Restaurant on Beatty Street in Downtown Vancouver, nearly next door to the recently deflated BC Place Stadium. They had their three-course menu set at the $35 level. For two people, including...

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Who will win Super Bowl XLI?

As we gear up for Super Bowl Sunday in less than two weeks, everyone is abuzz with all the stories surrounding the big game in Miami. We’ve got the incredible defence of the Chicago Bears, led by legendary linebacker Brian Urlacher. We’ve got everyone’s favorite pretty boy, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, who is still working to overcome that Manning curse. Why mumble and rumble with yourself when there’s such a huge community out there who are just like you, chatting it up about how they’re surprised Chad Johnson didn’t make it this far, or how Tom Brady should have been able to keep his incredible playoff streak alive. Message boards are a huge thing on the internet (I belong to a few myself), and here’s another website with football boards. I like how they have it organized by division for all us NFL fans out there, because that’s primarily where all the rivalries build up and where the most *ahem* constructive conversation can take place. College fans can also get their fix on, because they have several sub-forums dedicated to the Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10, SEC, and so on. Cheer on your alma mater, sneer at your bitter rivals… it’s all in good fun. After all, when Super Bowl XLI wraps up, there won’t be much to talk about regarding the NFL. Well, at least...

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First drive: 2007 Honda Fit Sport

I love Honda. Make no mistake about it. I’m not that much of a fan of where they’ve been heading recently — away from performance and toward luxury — but they still have some of the better vehicles on the market. When you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a new car, your options are fairly limited. Let me preface this by saying that I can be pretty biased, so I’m not going to head out and buy a Ford Focus, Chevy Cobalt, and Dodge SX 2.0. As a result, when Susanne found herself in the market for a small car (preferably a hatchback) for around 20K, we found ourselves taking nice, long looks at the Toyota Yaris RS, the Volkswagen Rabbit, the Nissan Versa, and, her ultimate choice, the Honda Fit Sport. And here it is. Pardon the pun, but I found the fit and finish on the Fit to be head and shoulders above the Yaris. The interior materials were of much higher quality than on the Toyota offering, and I found the overall design (at least on the inside) to be more appealing. Of course, this is coming from an owner of a 2000 Acura (Honda) Integra, so I’m clearly a little biased. Okay, a lot biased. She didn’t like the bulk and rigidity of the Versa, or the fuel inefficiency of the...

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MMAPlayground: Fighting, forums, and fantasy

You know, ever since that whole Mike Tyson taking a bite out of Evander Holyfield fiasco, I’ve lost interest in boxing. It’s just not as interesting as it once was: I can’t even begin to fathom how exciting it would have been to take in the sights and sounds of a Muhammad Ali match or one featuring George Foreman before he started showing us how easy it was to grill at home. Where there is a growing interest, however, is with Mixed Martial Arts. It started out with just the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), starring such incredible athletes as Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, and Royce Gracie, but it has since gone on to birth several other organizations and a whole new generation of mixed martial arts combatants. Combine this with the concept of fantasy sports (I’m participating in a hockey pool with some friends) and you’ve got yourself MMAPlayground. On this site, not only can you participate in mixed martial arts via a fantasy game not unlike all those NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL pools out there, but you can also chat with a huge community of MMA enthusiasts via their UFC and Pride forum. Looks like a very promising site for anyone interested in mixed martial arts (especially if you’re the betting type). In fact, they’re offering a $500 prize for the first season of play. Good stuff,...

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Personalized Google homepage: Now with RSS previews!

Google isn’t just a search engine anymore. They’re fully into the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon, because they don’t only tackle the idea of sifting through the internet to find the most relevant page possible, but they take care of your email, aim to replace Microsoft Office in some ways (Google Documents & Spreadsheets is akin to Word and Excel), and oh so much more. One tool that I use excessively is the personalized Google homepage as it manages all those RSS feeds that I need on a daily basis as part of as my work for Mobile Magazine, Virtual Reality, and so on. But check out what they’ve done. They’ve taken a good idea and made it better (just like they did with Gmail). The screenshot below will give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, but right now, I have it set up so that each RSS feed displays the three most recent titles. Normally, I’d have to visit the respective websites themselves to get any more out of them (I don’t use a conventional RSS reader), but now Google has implemented a little +/- button next to each article title. When I click on it, I get a brief snippet of the piece. So simple, yet so infinitely useful. Thanks Google. I appreciate it… because obviously they made this change just for me. Yes, just...

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Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.