Is this a trend in blogging?

I am just reviewing my Twitter feed and come across this

@rshevlin I’m considering pulling a Shevlin and saying sayonara to my blog. Half a visit per minute spent on a post may not be worth it.

What is happening here? First Shevlin and now the Warrior?

I can understand the need to move on, to see the limited resource of time diminish to the point of re-establishing one’s priorities but really that should be the main reason. Take some time off. Post a big blinking sign on your blog that you are on vacation and give us some lame excuse but please don’t quit. I mean how are you going to synthesize those diatribes into 140 characters?  You can’t! What is going to happen to all those great ideas and thoughts that swirl around your cranium? They have to go somewhere or your head will explore. 

Seriously though, and for purely selfish reasons, one puts together a group of blogs of some very intelligent and interesting people from every walk of life. For a few minutes every day you get to read what others are thinking and doing without any editorial bias from any unseen source. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad but they are always read. They make sense and if they don’t you get to comment and contribute. They break down an individual barrier that we all struggle with, that of thinking we are alone in our thoughts. That someone from Boston or North Carolina or Iowa could make such a connection to someone in B.C. is a remarkable experience and one that I place a high value on. There are times someone hasn’t blogged for months. Then suddenly they appear again. Sure there are some that will never blog and that is ok. Maybe this is just a phase that blogging must go through. Like it isn’t centuries old is it. 

One of my favourite authors is Robertson Davies. Over the years I have read his books, sometimes more than once. When he passed away, there would be no more books and that was sad. I have one book left of his that I haven’t read and that is being saved for a some warm summer days in the not to distant future. When someone like the CU Warrior says he maybe quitting I can appreciate his position. It isn’t like he won’t be around anymore. It is that there will be something missing. Life gets like that as you get older. Things are missed. We need to remember to celebrate the moment because that gets to be very important.

Just getting there

Had a call today from my nephew up in Williams Lake. He is doing pretty good with his business and enjoying life. At 26 he appreciates his bachelor life. He said he would be coming down when our sons come home for Christmas. So the three of them who grew up together will have time to re-connect. They spent just about every summer together when they were kids. It is amazing when you realize how little they see each other now and how far apart they all live. Then the event of Christmas brings them all together. You begin to realize how important that time of year is for families.

On my way home today I stopped in a light shop and bought two lamps. One for the desk and the other a bedside table light. The proprietor mentioned that as you get older you need twice as much light as when you were younger. That must be the problem with us older people, we live constantly in the dark!

In a book I am reading (Telling the Truth about History by Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt & Margaret Jacob) there is this statement in the introduction:

Relativism, a modern corollary to skepticism, is the belief that truth is relative to the position of the person making a statement. It has generated a pervasive lack of confidence in the ability to find the truth or even to establish that there is such a thing as the truth. Relativism leads directly to a questioning of the ideal of objectivity, because it undermines the belief that people can get outside of themselves in order to get at the truth. If truth depends on the observer’s standpoint, how can there be any transcendent, universal or absolute truth, or at the least truths that hold for all groups for many generations?

In today’s world, particularly with the recent financial events of the world, it would seem to be extremely important to understand that maybe we cannot ‘fix’ the basic economic model. It will work in some form or another. Maybe we need to understand that unless we have some absolute or universal truth to understand, those who hold only relative truths defeat the ability of many of us to fully articulate our ideal of objectivity. If the time for change is now then all the reasons for change need to be the constant dialogue of all participants. I am tired of listening to the same old record and drinking the same old kool-aid.


Another week has passed and the events continue.

Our youngest son returned to his home in Copenhagen last Saturday after a great one month visit. As well, a friend returned home to Powell River who had been boarding with us since January while going to school at UBC. It is always an adjustment in a home when the total inhabitants decrease by 50%. Our oldest son and daughter are here for a visit for the next 2 weeks and after that we are home alone again. At least I won’t have to watch or hear the PS3 with Grand Theft Auto blaring away. That is another story.

The iPhone is working out very well. The phone has been dropping calls once in a while out here in the Valley but in Burnaby-Vancouver there hasn’t been any problems. The ability to have one device deliver all of the applications you connect with is really unbelievable. All of us at work have now had iPhones for a month and the glitter still has not worn off. There is only one minor issue, the inability to have your SMS mesages use ringtones instead of the stock alarm sounds. The best and most used downloaded programs for me would be:

• Evernote – Great synching with your Mac desktop.

• Comic Touch – Just add some humour because who doesn’t need it.

• Exposure – decent Flickr app.

• Jott – very usable app with the notes feature.

• BoxOffice – never have to look for a newspaper to see what movies are playing.

• Stanza – the best book reader. Great classics for free.

• Shazam – I finally know the names of some songs after hearing them for years.

• Facebook – a very decent interface.

And the two best!

• Twitteriffic – much better than any other Twitter client.

• OmniFocus – the absolute best program for to dos, projects, etc. Done in the GTD style with synching to your desktop.

As it turns out there are 10. There are a few more that are useful at times and of course the web sites that have a great iPhone interface.

I have started planning for the two presentations I am doing next month. It is always amazing when you start thinking about what you will say, how you will present it, thinking that there ins’t enough material. Then you get started and you have to hack it back because there is too much material. You could probably spend an infinite amount of time always tweaking the end result. One talk will be at Forum Solutions Partnership Symposium in Indiana. The other is at the CUCC 2008 National Lending Conference in St. John’s Newfoundland. After looking at all the other speakers I feel like a lightweight in a heavyweight division.

I have just started a book by Susan Jacoby “The Age of American Unreason”. In it she analyses of the intellectual condition of the US. She does not pull any punches. It has some great writing with inventive and sharp cynical humour. Rationalism at its best.

Have a great weekend everyone! The dog days of summer are upon us.

One very interesting book

Today there isn’t a paper, magazine or news broadcast that we hear or read that does not state something about the Middle East and the conflict that is occurring. I questioned numerous times what was really going on over there. Most, if not all of my perception, was governed by these sources. When living in Denmark I attended a language school for 9 months and made friends with a number of individuals from the Middle East. Kurds, Iraqis, Iranians, they were all interesting people that had some unbelievable stories. I came to know them very well and was always taken aback by their honesty and hospitality. This personal contact confused my understanding of the situation. I wondered how could this area be in such turmoil after knowing such wonderful people?

After reading The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr much of what I understood about the people and this area has taken on a new light. This book is exceptionally well written and goes to explain in depth the Shiism and Shia-Sunni conflicts. This book provides the understanding of the political and theological struggles within Islam. You will not view the Middle East in your pre-defined terms again.