Beyond the Rhetoric


Sunday Snippet: Dr. Frank Crane (1861-1928)

November 16th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet with Dr. Crane

“Nobody has things just as he would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different.”

I would like to start up my own blog, but I just don’t have the time or energy to do that right now. My company would be able to make more international sales, but the current exchange rate just isn’t that favorable. My restaurant would be more popular if it were not for this odd location and if I had more advertising money.

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The Real Stress of Being a New Dad

November 14th, 2014 by Michael Kwan


She needs a diaper change with every feeding, sometimes before and after. Is that normal? She’s spitting up quite a bit every time that I try to burp her. Is that normal? She’s sleeping so much better during the day than she is at night. Is that normal?

Being first-time parents, our minds are filled with all sorts of daily concerns and worries. Some of these I expected to encounter as a new dad, like figuring out how to bathe my baby or how to establish a new working arrangement. While those are certainly stressful in their own right, we vastly underestimated all the little things that would cause so much concern.

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Freelance Business: The Fear Never Goes Away

November 13th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

On the Edge of a Tafoni Cliff

Striking it out on your own involves taking a monumental leap of faith. It doesn’t matter how much confidence you have in your skills as a graphic designer, freelance writer, business consultant or wedding photographer; you can never really know how successful your small business will be until you take the plunge into the great unknown. It can be a very scary experience, but you hope that you’ll get into a groove and the fear of failure will go away. Well, let me let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Just the Essentials

November 12th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

february baby sweater

Every Wednesday, I gather up and share some great blog posts from around the Internet and this week’s collection focuses on just the essentials. We start off with fellow daddy blogger Jonathan Ervine and his take on so-called baby essentials. It’s easy to buy into the marketing hype of the baby product industry, getting told that you’re a horrible parent if you don’t buy this item or that. Ervine breaks it down to where you should really be spending your money and what items you can probably do without. Yes, you can never have too many burp cloths and washcloths.

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A Moment of Silence

November 11th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Brothers in arms, at rest

Lest we forget.

Why I Never Complain (About Being Bored)

November 10th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Bored Gargoyle of Notre Dame

In last week’s episode of The Walking Dead, one of the characters complained about being bored. Then, someone told him that he is incredibly lucky to feel safe enough to be bored in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. (Excuse the vagueness as I’m trying to avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen the show.) The thing is, even if you’re not surrounded by hordes of the undead craving to eat your flesh, the very notion of “being bored” is an incredible luxury not afforded to most.

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Sunday Snippet: Jennifer Senior on Modern Parenting

November 9th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Jennifer Senior on Modern Parenting

“Once kids stopped working, the economics of parenting changed. Kids became, in the words of one brilliant if totally ruthless sociologist, “economically worthless but emotionally priceless.”

Rather than them working for us, we began to work for them, because within only a matter of decades it became clear: if we wanted our kids to succeed, school was not enough. Today, extracurricular activities are a kid’s new work, but that’s work for us too, because we are the ones driving them to soccer practice. Massive piles of homework are a kid’s new work, but that’s also work for us, because we have to check it.

About three years ago, a Texas woman told something to me that totally broke my heart. She said, almost casually, “Homework is the new dinner.” The middle class now pours all of its time and energy and resources into its kids, even though the middle class has less and less of those things to give. Mothers now spend more time with their children than they did in 1965, when most women were not even in the workforce.”

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More Writing Around the Web

November 7th, 2014 by Michael Kwan

More Writing Around the Web

Some of you may know me best for the blogging I do here on Beyond the Rhetoric, but my “day job” as a freelance writer means that the majority of the content that I write ends up getting published elsewhere. And while I do cover a fairly broad range of subject matter for my clients, a good amount is focused on the world of technology, particularly consumer electronics and gadgets.

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