Monthly Archives: February 2019

On confusing resilience and endurance

As I suffer from personal difficulty, many people tell me I need to be resilient. This is what I thought as well. But what they really mean is I must be able to endure.

The key difference between resiliency and endurance is temporal.

If the difficulty you suffer is over and you bounce back, you are resilient. You can’t be resilient if your difficulty is on going. Then you are simply enduring.

For some reason, resiliency sounds better than endurance. Perhaps the former sounds active and the latter passive. There is nothing passive about endurance. It is a struggle to work against your difficulties, and those that passively suffer them will likely not endure for long.

To be resilient is good. But while you suffer, endurance is what you need.

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It’s RRSP season in Canada. You may feel: why bother contributing? Read this then.

If you are daunted and dismayed with the impossibiity of saving for retirement, then read this.

A few thoughts:

  1. It’s written for Americans, but it works just as well for Canadians. (Replace 401K with RRSP).
  2. You may still not be able to retire, but the more you save, the more cushion you have for later.
  3. It may help you get to sleep at night when your brain starts saying: you are doomed to die old and poor!

On deplatforming on social media

Deplatforming is starting to rise up as a means of dealing with the bad effects of social media. For instance:

On having fallen from the grace of god

Having walked for seven plus years, having lost so much, so much dead, so much broken, he accepted he had fallen from the grace of god. He walked through the years, and recalled them, picking over broken things, things he had built now gone, things he had saved now lost. He had walked for seven plus years and lost so much from the lack of grace from god. And he despaired, and fed the fires of despair. And when his despair had burned away, he looked around once more and saw what still remained, what was good, what could be built up. And this was the true gift, not this thing or that, not the vain hope of never losing. This vision was the gift. With this vision, he could see that he had regained the grace of god, though it had never left him.

Some thoughts on leftists calling for radical measures on climate change

I see that leftists are calling for radical measures to fight climate change. I have a few issues with this:

  1. You have to be careful for what you wish for. When they talk about radical measures, they are likely thinking that the line of what is radical is where they get to draw it. I don’t think this is true. To me, radical is things like geoengineering. Or nuclear proliferation. Leftists should not assume they get to draw the line as to what radical is. And leftists should not be surprised if they don’t like what they ask for.
  2. Some of this seems to be a way to score points against centrists and rightists. It may be true that centrists and rightists have bad solutions. They are not bad solutions because they are associated with anyone of a certain political stripe. They are bad because they may not be enough.

Everyone involved with dealing with climate change should

  1. work very hard to promote new and better ideas and solutions for climate change
  2. be as persuasive as possible, especially for those more moderate than themselves
  3. be very humble when it comes to thinking you know what is right

Obviously this is not the easy a thing to solve by any stretch, and the tradeoffs are significant. Worse still, the solutions involve humans and all their flaws as well as science and technology still in development.

I personally believe it is too late already and that:

  1. there is going to be global devastation with many coastal cities being destroyed over the next 20 years, despite any advances in policies or technology.
  2. there is going to be such severe weather in the next two decades that global warming and climate change will be the main political topic affecting everything, and there will be a surge in advances in response to this.
  3. there will be feedback in terms of population decreases, new technologies, new policies, and planetary unknowns. This feedback will result in climate change stabilizing.
  4. there will be positive gains to be had from global warming and climate change but that they will not be known for sometime.

Thanks for reading this. Feel free to disagree. Just not on twitter, or I will block you.

17 things you should do as soon as you get laid off (and here’s hoping you don’t)

Here’s hoping you don’t get laid off, but if you do, keep this in mind: 17 things you should do as soon as you get laid off | Business Insider India

The joy of being out of and in a storm at night

There is a joy of being out of a storm at night. You can listen to the wind blast and watch the trees whip while the rain or snow fills the air. You can experience that from inside a warm room, dry and safe. You can think: thankfully I am not out in weather like that. It is a pleasure to be sheltered in such a night.

There is a joy in being out in a storm at night. Dressed well, you can move through the elements, complimenting yourself for being able to handle such weather. Even in a big city, you will have little if any company. If you do come across another hardy soul, you can nod and smile as if you met another member of your secret society.

There are not many things that can bring joy no matter how you experience it, but a storm at night is one of those rare things.

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A great list of interchangeable ingredients to turn to when you are cooking, from Mark Bittman

Is this list.

Print it off, leave it in the kitchen, add your own items.

I often use sriracha for dried chilies, or even any hot sauce, for when you just need some heat. Likewise, if you don’t have jalapenos, you could also replace them with some of other heat source. (If it is a lot of jalapenos, you might use regular peppers with some chilies or other hot things to add the appropriate level of hotness.)

Finally, I’ve seen people suggest replacing creme fraiche with full fat greek yogurt.

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If you want to make a podcast

Then consider this: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Into Podcasts – The New York Times.

It doesn’t appeal to me, but podcasts are hot now, and if you want to give it a go, a good guide such as this one can help.

Good luck!

Things you don’t need and the one thing you do

This struck me today: I had these two posts I found interesting, both starting with “You don’t Need”. This is good: I think I will stop pursuing something because I think I need something first. Recipes help. And have free time to make things helps. But don’t use things you think you need stopping you from doing what you want.

Here are the two pieces. The only thing you need is a desire to make things.

  1. You Don’t Need to Quit Your Job to Make
  2. You Don’t Need a Recipe – The New York Times
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C’mon, It’s Just 7 Days – a good challenge for next week

You either are keeping your New Year’s Resolutions (yay!) or you have shelved them. If the latter, cheer up. You don’t need to wait a year to resolve to be better. And you don’t need to necessarily make a big commitment either. Maybe just a week of doing something for the better is enough to make an improvement in yourself. A week may be just the thing to kick start you and send you off in a better direction.

Sound good? Great. And if you are stuck for ideas, check out this:  C’mon, It’s Just 7 Days recipes and how-tos from Food52. 

It’s not just about food. If you are looking for a week of challenges to try out, read the articles there.

The articles are fun even if you aren’t looking to change. A lot can happen in a week.

On the limits on tiny houses

I’ve written a fair bit about tiny homes as they are something of a fascination for me. This piece, in Fast Company, is about the downsides of them. They pump up the downsides, but there are downsides for sure. Anyone with fantasies about tossing it all in and getting one would do well to read this.

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Friday night cocktails: a few simple ingredients = 3 Campari Cocktails

So sez this:  3 Campari Cocktails You Don’t Need a Gazillion Ingredients to Make | Bon Appetit. For anyone wanting to get started making cocktails, this is a good guide for this. Next thing you know you’re well on your way to being a bartender! At least for your friends. Enjoy.

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My new favorite dish: Andrea’s Pasta with Pork Ribs from Mark Bittman

I made this last week and I’m thinking of making it again this weekend, it’s that good: Andrea’s Pasta with Pork Ribs, via Mark Bittman.

It has all the benefits of a good marinara dish, but the ribs really take it to a whole different and higher level. It is especially good with cheap pork ribs that might not make sense grilled due to being an odd shape. Those ribs are perfect here.

If you want, add more garlic…I added twice this amount. I also threw in sprigs of fresh herbs too. I went with basil, but I am sure rosemary or thyme or marjoram would be great.

I also doubled the ribs and I took  half, deboned them, then chopped them into bite sized pieces and added them to the sauce. The other ribs I garnished the pasta with.

Finally, since you have so few ingredients, try to use really good tomatoes and cheese. You can skimp on the ribs and get gnarly ones because they will still taste great, but the tomatoes especially make a huge difference here. Same with the cheese.

Superb.

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The law of supply and demand strikes again, this time with truckers for Walmart

It seems to me that the law of supply and demand stops working from time to time. But I think that is wrong, and pieces like this remind me that I am wrong: How Walmart has successfully recruited truck drivers amid a labor shortage crisis.

The reason I think it stops working is because I see wage growth stagnating in many places. But I also see productivity stagnating too, and I think there is a relationship between that. There is some elasticity there that allows wage growth to stagnate but in return productivity growth stagnates too.

In Walmart’s case, the elasticity is gone: if they can’t get truckers, they lose business. It’s simple.  But for businesses without such hard and fast metrics, you might just continue to see slack productivity and slack wage growth.

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A few thoughts on Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo and her method of cleaning up are very hot now, likely due to her TV show. This hotness sparked a number of discussions about her, such as this: “Tokimeku” Means So Much More Than “Spark Joy” in Japanese | Apartment Therapy. It also sparked other, more extreme discussions, such as how it is racist to not account for the deeper Shinto meaning in her works.

I read her book when it first came out and I admired it. I didn’t agree with all of it, but I liked her approach to life and the things we own. I got the Shinto aspect of the book, but I don’t recall that  it was emphasized, so criticizing people of missing that who are unaware of Shintoism is a ridiculous criticism.

There have been shows like Marie Kondo on before. It makes sense. We are driven in North American culture to accumulate, and shows like hers provide us with an antidote to this. When Marie Kondo is forgotten, another home organizer will come along.

I have read more extreme versions of Marie Kondo, like “Goodbye, Things”, which promotes a very minimal life style. I bought it the way I buy other books that have subjects to aspire to but will never achieve. I guess others have too.

There is something to be said for a minimalist lifestyle, a maximalist life style, and something in between. In the end, what counts is that you have positive feelings towards the place you inhabit, however much you have.

One thing Marie Kondo misses is the notion of a room as a workshop. If you have a hobby, be it cooking or woodworking or gardening or reading, you likely have a room where all your tools and supplies are. If you are good at your hobby, you likely have alot of them. That makes sense. It doesn’t make sense to get rid of them just because you want to have less things. Have what you need to do the job when you want to. You could still trim back: do you really need 10 cutting boards or 3 screwdrivers that are exactly the same? But otherwise keep the tools you need or may need.

I think Marie Kondo is great because she encourages us to live better with some simple guidelines. Even if you don’t follow them all, you will live better if you consider her message and try to apply it. In the end you’ll have a better home, and you will have a better idea of what you consider a better home.

Image from the NYTimes article on her, here.

 

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Howard Schultz is running for President. Here’s something you might want to read about him….

If you are seriously considering Howard Schultz run for president, you should read this:   How Howard Schultz Left a Bitter Taste in Seattle’s Mouth – POLITICO Magazine

I think he doesn’t have a chance, although he could help the current President get reelected.  I thought that before, and I thought it even more after reading the piece in Politico. Here’s hoping he drops out.