Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: The Danger Zone

January 27th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

What's Up Wednesdays: The Danger Zone

As parents, we are prone to coddling our kids. We’ll envelop them in bubble wrap to keep them safe, but sometimes we just need to let kids be kids and allow them to enter the danger zone. That’s the apprehensive advice being put forth by Buzz Bishop of Dad Camp, reminding us that playgrounds are supposed to be dangerous in order for them to be challenging. And that’s quite different from the concerns over stranger danger you may have.

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10 Things People in Vancouver Need to Explain to Visitors

January 26th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

10 Things People in Vancouver Need to Explain to Visitors

Every city has its share of unique quirks and Vancouver is certainly no exception. There is plenty to love about this city, just as there is lots to hate too. For those of us who call Vancouver home, we’ve come to accept many of these things as a matter of fact (even if we never stop complaining about them), oftentimes forgetting that visitors to our city might find them foreign, strange or surprising.

In visiting Tokyo years ago, I learned that it is completely inappropriate to eat your food while walking down the street. While in Florence, I learned that stand-up coffee bars for grabbing a quick espresso are far more common than the lounging cafe culture here. And if you’re not from around these parts, you’ve got a few things to learn about Vancouver before you get here.

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Grammar 101: Alternative or Ulterior Motive

January 25th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

English can be tricky, both for native speakers and for people who pick it up as a second language. We have all these rules and then we have all these exceptions, not to mention words that sound the same and have entirely different meanings. Perhaps that’s why someone might mistakenly talk about hitting the mother load or offering a sneak peak when they should be talking about mother lodes and sneak peeks.

If you’ve got a hidden agenda, do you have an ulterior motive or an alternative one?

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Sunday Snippet: Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

January 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”

From a very young age, we’re taught to make our way through school and to leverage this education into some sort of career. Maybe you get into carpentry. Maybe it’s computer programming, accounting or botany. Whatever it may be, this is your job. It’s work. And after you’ve put in your forty hours, you can look forward to the leisure time you’ll have on the weekend. There’s a definite line drawn in the sand.

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Connected Minds Cafe & Roastery, Coquitlam

January 22nd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Connected Minds Cafe & Roastery

With tongue not so firmly planted in cheek, I like to jest that I am powered by caffeine and Wi-Fi.

It’s partly true, really, because my day just doesn’t feel right if it doesn’t involve a cup of coffee and I really do make my living on the Internet. All kidding aside, a great cup of coffee is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Metro Vancouver has a very strong coffee culture and, as much as some people might like their Starbucks, many gravitate to smaller, more local shops. A lesser known example of this is Connected Minds, located out on Clarke Road in Coquitlam.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Thinking With My Stomach

January 20th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

The Flying Pig (by Stacey Robinsmith)

It’s time for the weekly speedlink here on Beyond the Rhetoric. Helping us get over the hump day blahs is Stacey Robinsmith and his gastronomic adventures at The Flying Pig in Olympic Village. I’m particularly drawn to the Happy Hour specials myself, since I think with both my stomach and my wallet. Looks like I’m ready to indulge in yet another poutine the next time I’m in that part of town.

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The One Life Skill That Changes Everything

January 19th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Choose Your Own Adventure

As you make your way through school and progress through your career, the hope is that you will continue to acquire all sorts of skills and gain all sorts of knowledge. By learning how to touch type, you’re able to write documents far more quickly than if you had to spend the whole time staring down at the keyboard. By learning how to change a tire on a car, you don’t have to rely on roadside assistance to help you when you get a flat.

But then there is one life skill in particular that will come in handy regardless of the profession you choose or the circumstances in which you find yourself.

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Habits I’ve Gained and Lost as a Work-at-Home Dad

January 18th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Habits I've Gained and Lost as a Work-at-Home Dad

You can come to be defined by the sum total of your habits. Your habits reflect who you are as a person and what you aspire to achieve. If you go to the gym on a regular basis, you likely place a high value on your health and fitness. If you develop the habit of curling up with a good book every night, you likely enjoy reading. But these habits can change as your circumstances change.

I recently commented on how life is different as a work-at-home dad. Today, I thought I’d expand on that conversation by taking a closer look at the habits that I’ve gained and the habits that I’ve lost since taking on these new responsibilities as a father to my little girl.

Some of these have actually been beneficial. Others, well, maybe not so much.

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