The $55 million question

I was downtown today and saw a lot of people who didn’t win the Loto 649. Everyone had that in common. Taking the public transit is always interesting. You can actually see so many people. When you are driving a vehicle you never get to see these people. Your eyes are always on the asphalt, which really has little in the way of changing. One young gentleman got on the bus with a skateboard and a North Face winter jacket. The jacket had fur trim. Neat looking garment but it looked expensive and given the temperature was only around 12 degrees he must have been cooking in the thing. The back of the buses are pretty well grafitied and sometimes the only place with a window open when the driver has got the heat cranked up to the level of the Sahara Desert. And sure enough after the required number of 5 stops someone comes on, sits right beside the window and proceeds to shut it. Well you had a gentle cool breeze for a few stops. Nothing like rolling down that car window though. And that maybe is the key to better public transit — individual climate zones. The “one temperature fits all” really doesn’t work.

There and here

I was in Winnipeg last week at a meeting about stewardship. It was one of the most intense and interesting 3 days I have had in a long time. We stayed at a Catholic retreat beside the Assiniboine River and with the mild weather it was beautiful. All the leaves were off the trees but there was a gentle mild warm wind that made it pleasant. One day it rained.
How do you define stewardship? A ten letter word that can mean a hundred things to various people. There is a monentary connotation but the broader meaning tends to put an emphasis on a lifestyle, what we do with the resources and gifts that God has given us. Are we proper stewards of the time and of our abilities. It pushes the question about what is important in our lives and what is our purpose. Why are we here and what should we be doing. And those questions never are fully answered. They are always questions that need constant answering if we are true to ourselves.

Collaboration and cooperation

Nancy White has an excellent blog on “Challenging the myths of distributed collaboration”. She points to a critical issue — that these efforts need to be based on a cooperative value set. There is the key challenge. Can collaboration be cooperative without that common value set? Or what value set do individuals have with any work that they collaborate on? There seems to be small groups that propose the end result of their code, and hence product, is for the greater good but we are seeing large dollar transactions occur when their idea (product) has a high commercial value and it is subsequently sold. The excitement of something unique and workable will always create the “buzz” necessary for it to become popular. Popularity tends to have a material side to it though. Aren’t users part of the collaborative spirit? Maybe that is what they mean by free enterprise!

Trees ‘r us

Riverview Arboretum

Today we drove out to Riverview (years ago it used to be called Essondale) to view a remarkable collection of non-native trees. In 1904 1,000 acres of land were set aside for two purposes:

  • A sanctuary and residential treatment facility for the mentally ill
  • A site for a B.C. Botanical Garden

Over the years 200 acres were sold to developers to create Riverview Heights and in the 1990’s Colony Farm (600 acres) became a GVRD Park. There is only 244 acres left for the patients. In 1925 the botanical gardens were moved to UBC but the trees were left behind. These were cared for and are now an unknown legacy for everyone.

One can write and describe experiences one has. To truly understand the beauty and the heritage that is available to everyone you need to take a walk amongst these silent giants. There are leaves and barks of trees that you will never have seen before. They stand as stately giants on the gentle slopes of this sanctuary. It truly is a peaceful setting that is medicine to the soul.

For more information on how we can keep this pristine site for its orignial two purposes visit The Riverview Horticulture Centre Society.

Well it ain’t football

Coming home from UBC a few Saturdays ago there was a rugby match between the Thunderbirds and Meralomas. We stopped to watch and saw some great plays and some solid running by the Lomas. Leaving at the half we didn’t get to see who the winner was but I don’t think the Thunderbirds were in their finest form. It was great to see the game. Rugby is the game a spectator almost becomes part of the action. You can feel the pain and sense the joy of a great kick or handoff. There is an ebb and flow so important to the game that just isn’t found in to0 many sports. It never matters what the weather is like as a wet muddy field only adds to the excitement.

Much too long between posts

Now with fall and of course the rains upon us, summer is officially over. The Lions are back to normal hence the mass exodus off their bandwagon. The Canucks are now singing the praises of the Sedin twins. Isn’t life wonderful out here in the Bannana belt?

I have been trying to implement my Getting Things Done components on OmniOutliner after turfing Entourage. It wasn’t that Entourage didn’t do a good job but with the size of everything it was taking longer and longer to move to the various sub-programs. Yesterday I came upon the Kinkless GTD System. (thank goodness for subscribing to mailing lists!). Well Ethan has produced a very basic system for GTD using OminOutliner and it works very well. In fact is works as close to GTD as anything I have seen. Check out his site. Very “Mac” like.

David Allan spoke at length about making sure the system you used was one that you could “trust”. The Kinkless solution really has that going for it. For anyone using GTD try and get to one of David’s seminars. There is lots there that is covered in the book but with a lot of aural background.