Book Review: Way of the Peaceful Warrior

This month I read Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. In short, it is a story about how to live your best life. Perhaps because I had pre-internalized several of these ideas already from my own lived experience, I found the first half a slow and painful slog (also because I kind of loathed the main character, but that was mostly by design). It wasn’t until around page 100 that I settled in and felt like I was getting something out of the book. Read On →

Book Recap: Spring/Summer 2018

It has been a busy time but I am still reading! Here is a quick recap of memorable books finished in Spring and Summer 2018. 49th Parallels Various authors (2017) Published during Canada’s 150-year celebration, a compilation of short stories and alternative histories involving Canada and our place in the world. Example: what if Canada had been first to develop the atomic bomb? I supported this publication through crowdfunding, and am quite pleased with the result: uniquely Canadian! Read On →

Book Review: My Conversations With Canadians

My Conversations With Canadians by Lee Maracle is a thoughtful journey across many topics central to Canada-Indigenous relations (or to use Maracle’s suggested term: Canada-Turtle Islander relations). I loved this book. It was super approachable and a great education for a non-Turtle Islander like myself, challenging many preconceived ideas. Maracle recounts conversations she has shared with Canadians ranging in time from the 1970s to the present. She will often linger over questions posed to her by non-Indigenous Canadians, turning the question around for the reader and instead exploring the biases of the questioner - what assumptions do they already have in place, in order to even ask that question? Read On →

Book Review: Wrist

Wrist by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler Wrist is an Anishinaabe-inspired horror story that I picked up at the Ottawa Writersfest last year. One of the fun things about this book is that you’re never totally certain if the monsters are real. Adler keeps you guessing about whether this is playing out in the imagination of Church, the protagonist, even going so far as to include other characters who themselves don’t believe in the monsters. Read On →

Social Enterprise Unleashed 2017

On Thursday I was invited by CSED to attend the Social Enterprise Unleashed conference in Ottawa. I had a great time and gained valuable insights into the social enterprise sector. Here are some key takeaways: Social procurement: Procurement generally follows the “Lowest Price Wins” model, which misses opportunities to benefit communities and can even cause harm by not respecting the environment nor paying living wages. The triple-bottom-line approach of social enterprise (People, Planet, Profit) needs to be the ultimate goal. Read On → Launched!

A directory I have been helping to build for CSED has officially launched! is a provincial directory of social enterprises for the event planning sector. If you’re planning to put on an event in Ontario, you might like to see what’s available, with over 80 enterprises currently listed. Expanding on the product delivered by our previous project (the Ottawa directory, the new directory adds the following enhancements: bilingual maps location-based searching administrative interface, so that individual enterprises as well as directory administrators can control content The directory was officially launched at the #SEUnleashed social enterprise conference in Ottawa on November 16th. Read On →

Book Review: The Dirt Cure

The Dirt Cure by Maya Shetreat-Klein I read this book awhile ago with my wife, and wanted circle back and do a recap. The Dirt Cure argues that far from being something harmful to be avoided, dirt is actually rather healthy - more specifically, the microbes living in the dirt. This basic premise leads to insights into diet and illness. Dr. Maya’s philosophy is that the health of our inner terrain —our bodies– is a reflection of the health of our outer terrain, the natural world around us. Read On →

Book Review: Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien I confess this one took me a while to sink into. There came a point early on when I happened to pause the book and I almost never picked it up again. It sat there on my night table, a reminder, but I’d find something else to occupy my time with. Eventually I did continue and I’m glad for it. The story is a history of modern China told from the perspective of an everyday family comprising of artists and musicians. Read On →

Setting up a (free) Password Manager

After years of remaining skeptical about password managers (do I really want to put all my eggs in one basket?), I finally caved after realizing that (a) there were simply too many accounts to remember and (b) my email is effectively a basket holding all the eggs already (anyone who gains access to your email account can use the password reset feature to access your other accounts). With that in mind a password manager didn’t seem to increase my risk profile any further from it’s current state. Read On →

Architectus Oryzus

Martin Fowler wrote an article on software architecture almost 15 years ago. I just discovered it now while in the midst of changing jobs, and I found this part where he contrasts architect styles to be very relevant for me in this moment: Architectus Reloadus is the person who makes all the important decisions. The architect does this because a single mind is needed to ensure a system’s conceptual integrity, and perhaps because the architect doesn’t think that the team members are sufficiently skilled to make those decisions. Read On →