Friday, February 25, 2011

Rage at the Monopoly

A pet peeve of mine is the Canadian cable and phone racket. If like me you are persuaded that in voyaging across the Web we enter into a social experiment more profoundly changing than anything humans have ever done and you live in Canada, your freedom to participate is firmly limited by our national trio of monopolist telecom-media conglomerates. They keep our local access to the magic global realm of the Internet world-beatingly expensive.

Being in Wild Places

On the chilly midwinter weekend last I drove down to the annual symposium of the Wilderness Canoe Association. Those intrepid folks gather every year in the East End of Toronto from points all across the US and Canada to relive the joys of passage through the deep wilderness of Canada's boreal and arctic north. They tell tales of great adventure in one of the last wide places of the world, stories that have thrilled me for many winters past. When amongst these grizzled heroes I always feel a bit of a poseur for I was only a canoeist in the wilderness, rather than a true wilderness canoeist.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Boomer is not a Boomer is not a Boomer

I have done a lot of different psychological assessments in my career; in fact I am qualified to use several different types. One of the things which I have learned is that no one assessment can possibly describe an individual. By using several tests for one person you will come closer to finding out who they are but still not be able to predict behavior on any one occasion. This is why I have a schizophrenic relationship with the labels we put on people and groups.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bring on the Bandwidth

Once upon a time in the mid 2000s I worked with programmers to put up two Internet products. The first,, was focused on busy mid-career professionals. The one after,, we designed to help companies in the medical equipment space find partners to collaborate with. Neither is active today. Hindsight lets me see there were at least three trends impacting our work. As we were in the centre of them, we didn't fully understand what was happening.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amazing Times on Mainstream TV

Last night's NFL Super Bowl was a great TV spectacle. That was true even for a guy watching with a major handicap; only really understanding the rules for the 'football' they play outside America. I loved the athleticism and the chutzpah of all that Texas-Large! And we all saw that George W and Condoleezza were loving it too.

I was amazed by the Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl halftime. And I was surprised that a staff writer for the Washington Post was a lot less amazed. Probably he just wanted the football to return. It was a thrilling game. Then I was cheered up by a celebrity column in the same newspaper, even though it's only a little less harsh: "The Peas don't possess even a fraction of the musical credibility owned by recent Super Bowl halftime performers like The Who, Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But the abundance of Tron-esque effects in their performance, not to mention the trademark Peas spunk, managed to make this halftime spectacle more entertaining than expected."

I own albums from all those previous Super Bowl acts but I'd never heard this music before. How come?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The World according to Grey

I belong to a cool tech association out of Kitchener-Waterloo, the beating heart of Ontario’s Technology Triangle. As is usual, they send out e-newsletters, and these link to a blog. There I came across a recent posting from a lady with Grey Advertising.

As I like people in advertising, indeed I was one for a short time myself, I check the writer out - ‘accrediting’ you might call it. I need first to decide whether to take her seriously. For me LinkedIn is the best quick fix on the professional in a ‘person of interest’ (as they say in law enforcement circles). Sure enough, there she is. She has a financial and IT marketing background and is a mid-lifer in her Forties. She is definitely to be taken seriously.