Archive for August, 2011

Big day at the Globe

August 29th, 2011 No comments

A number of articles caught my eye in The Globe and Mail today:

Here’s a good piece by Sarah Hampson on the way people handle the last days of life. It’s neither schmaltzy nor grim.

This article on kids and boxing remind me of a friend of mine who practices Shotokan karate. Like many who practice (or dabble in, as is my case) martial arts, we wonder about the realism of it all: contact, no contact, headgear, no headgear …? In the case of my friend, head shots are winners in competitions, and although he won the competition, I have to wonder about the poor fellow he stunned with a solid head shot — with no padding, no headgear. In the end, the more I read about concussions, the more I realize how fragile we are.

Here’s a review of some post-workout drinks. We should keep in mind two things if we consider partaking: (1) the goal of business is to make money, and the world of the consume is filled with unnecessary products designed to make money, and (2) though a product may have a unique name and appear “indie”, it’s probably owned by a giant conglomerate such as Coke or Pepsico.

I’ve often found that a concept can be sharpened in the mind by studying its opposite as well. Here’s a little piece on The Six Habits of Highly Ineffective People. Better get off the computer ….

(No, the Globe doesn’t pay me to write this. I just get the paper. It’s not perfect, and it isn’t immune to the current tendency of the mainstream media to accept the way politicians and punditsĀ frame the issues … but it’ll do for now.)

(Mental note: look up “article” in the Thesaurus.)

A small tribute to Jack Layton

August 25th, 2011 No comments

As any Canadian knows, we’ve recently lost Jack Layton, leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and by all accounts, a highly dedicated and capable public servant. I mean that in the highest sense of the word — a distinction that shows Mr. Layton in stark contrast to the self-serving politicians who squat on our airwaves producing nothing of value to those they purport to serve.

I’m not eloquent enough to give a fitting tribute to Mr. Layton, but his passing reminds me of the writings of Robert Gould Shaw:

I am placed in a position where, if I were a man of real strength and ability, I might do a great deal, but where, under present circumstances, I am afraid I shall show that I am not of much account.

I believe that Mr. Layton, unlike many of his contemporaries, has showed that he was of much account.

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Change is the only constant

August 22nd, 2011 No comments

The blog, it is a-changin’.

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been busy, but also because the mission of the blog has shifted slightly. I expect to broaden the focus to other disciplines, but still through the lens of Refine & Repeat, if that makes sense.

More is coming. Thanks for reading.

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Weather. Ain’t it grand?

August 15th, 2011 1 comment

I like weather. Wind, clouds, rain, that sort of thing. There’s nothing quite like appreciating it when you can. Most of the time, we choose to exist in weather-free indoor environments, only choosing to really experience the elements when they’re benign, or pleasant, such as on a sunny day.

Having spent most of today indoors, a bout an hour ago I chose to head outside and get some fresh air. I was about to open the front door, when I heard the sound of a sudden cloudburst … that sound of steady, heavy rain, that isn’t a rumble, isn’t a hum, but something else — white noise, I suppose. I could see the water rushing down the gutters, pouring out of the downspout, rolling in waves down the street. So I opened the door anyway.

Not being keen on getting a soaker (eh) as we used to say, I stayed at the front door, under a small shelter. But in that space, I remembered a little bit of childhood. Remember when you had nothing better to do but watch and listen rain? And smell it? Those sensations had a wonderful, calming effect on me standing at the door, idly listening to the rumble in the distance andĀ the volume of the white noise, telling me that the rain was abating as the sound grew more gentle.

Most of the time we listen to that sound hoping that the rain will stop so we can get somewhere, do something. Come on, come on. Not this time. As the rain calmed down, said its piece, I watched the clouds part and felt pretty good.

Categories: modern life, secrets of youth Tags: