Category Archives: advice

why the best white noise machine might be the Google Home Mini

I have had a number of white noise devices with some of them costing a lot more than the Mini. They are not hard to set up and once you do you can ask it to play rain sounds or relaxing sounds or whatever sounds help you relax or sleep it work. Plus you get all the advantages of having it to find out the weather, get news, set appointments and more. If you don’t mind having one in your house – and some people do – then you can buy them everywhere, like here: m.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/google-home-mini-charcoal/11615336

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The ikigai Venn diagram

What you really want to aim for in your profession and your life is ikigai.

I’ve seen this a few times and I can’t find the original but also I don’t want to lose it. It really is too good to lose. I’d like to credit and link to the originator.

The problem with carpentry and how it differs from IT

It is near impossible to learn how to do carpentry from either books or the Internet. I know because I’ve tried really hard.

Let’s say you decide you no longer want to buy bookcases from Ikea but you want to make you own. You decide a book case is simply a box and decide you want to learn how to make a box with a few tools and some simple instructions.

If you go search for help with your box, you may very likely come across instructions like this: www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/g1591/how-to-make-a-box/

It makes assumptions that you have lots of tools and you can do hard things like cut joints. After a few hours of searches, you will find most sites are like this: tailored to woodworkers making wood pieces that are hard to do and not anything near modern looking.

IT is different. For any technology out there, you can search for the name of the technology and “tutorial” and find something. You can be up and running using the technology in the time it takes you to give up looking for carpentry skills.

I am not sure why that is. Maybe there is more interest in IT so there are more tutorials on it. You could argue carpentry is harder but I have done both and I disagree.

I especially disagree because there is one site I could that actually does make it easy to make furniture and that is Ana White’s. Because of her I have made a wide range of furniture with basically a hammer, a jigsaw and a drill. The furniture isn’t fancy but it was cheaper and better and as modern looking as Ikea.

I think that is a problem with a lot of woodworking sites. They assume you want to do fine woodworking. Find woodworking is fine, but for people starting out, they likely want to make a simple table, a bookcase or set of shelves, perhaps a storage chest. A good joint may be best, but most Ikea furniture is held together with dowels and screws. If you make a book case with dowels and screws and glue, it will last and hold lots of books.

I wish there were more introductory sites on the internet that help people who wanted to learn how to make furniture and do carpentry, like there is with IT. Right now all I have found is Ana White’s site. I highly recommend it.

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!

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

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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!