Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year!

Tomorrow is the Lunar New Year - a very important feast (like Christmas, or so I'm told) for Chinese people. Rhe same holds true for many other nationalities/ethnicities such as Koreans, Japanese, etc.

Tonight my friend Brendon and I visited some of his Chinese friends who were hosting a New Year's dinner. There was a lot of great food (e.g., dumplings and hot pot), and everyone was really nice. I learned that when dumplings are made for the New Year, they hide a 1 - 3 peanuts inside a few, and the person who eats the dumpling with the peanuts is believed to have good luck. Tonight's entertainment was a charming 15-year-old girl who ate (conservatively) 30 dumplings because she wanted to find the one with the good luck. Of course, this did not stop her from sampling from the wide variety of other dishes, or from eating two slices of chocolate cake! I seriously expected her to throw up or explode! LOL

It was a great evening, and as I said it was a pleasure to meet Brendon's friends and their friends. All but a few of those in attendance were fairly recent Chinese immigrants, and they were all friendly, intelligent, decent people who make me feel very hopeful about Canada's future.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Time to Deliver

Hey, another cause dear to my heart: Did you know that the next big conference on HIV/AIDS will be here in Toronto? The dates are August 12 - 18. The theme is "Time to Deliver" (or, dare we say, "Get off your asses and do something, dammit!!!!"?) Click here to apply as a volunteer!

Say "No thanks!" to more nuclear power in Ontario

I haven't been reading a lot of news lately, but I have become aware that the Ontario Power Authority, a governmental agency, released a report last month saying that Ontario needs at least 12 more nuclear reactors to meet future energy demand. Apparently the report exaggerated the rates at which energy demand will increase (assumed annual 9% increase when it's been around 5% annually over the last several years), and basically completely discounted the viability of green, safe energy sources. (Norway uses wind power, for example, to generate 20% of its energy requirement; Ontario only gets 1% of its current energy from wind power - this is obviously an under-developed energy source!)

So here are a few links, in case you feel moved - as I did - to write our Premier asking him to ignore this OPA report and to explore safer alternatives, or for more information: here and here and here and here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Getting Things Done

Last month I read a book that is changing my life. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re an extremely busy person who struggles to track/remember all the things you need to do, or if you feel overwhelmed by the work you have, then you might want to consider reading Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. This is an extremely practical approach to workload tracking/management and self-organization. Allen is a time management guru to many executives and CEOs. The book is well-written and easy to read as well. 12 stars out of 10!

The Love Affair with Reading Continues

Current reads:

Trusting Yourself, by M.J. Ryan

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Pierre: Colleagues and Friends Talk About the Trudeau They Knew, edited by Nancy Southam

Self-Discipline in 10 Days: How to Go from Thinking to Doing, by Theodore Bryant

Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir, by Franz Wisner (Just so you don’t think this is a totally messed up book for me to be reading, it’s an account of how Wisner got dumped right before his wedding, and ended up traveling the world with his brother for the next two years instead)

Never Eat Alone, and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi with Tahl Raz

Much-anticipated next reads:

The Poetry Home Repair Manual, by Ted Kooser

The Coward's Guide to Conflict: Empowering Solutions for Those Who Would Rather Run Than Fight, Tim Ursiny (for work - enough said)

Healing The Heart Of Conflict: 8 Crucial Steps To Making Peace With Yourself And Others, Marc Gopin (for work - enough said)


My boss gave me some Tickleberries for Xmas - just got into 'em. Yummy!!!


I love this quote:

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lines within us."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Poem snippet

"What I would do for wisdom,"
I cried out as a young man.
Evidently not much. Or so it seems.
Even on walks I follow the dog.

by Ted Kooser and Jim Harrison


I love to people-watch while I work out at my gym. I can work out on a treadmill and look out the window at the constant pedestrian traffic on the street below.

For instance, today a woman was waiting outside a popular shop with a Great Dane-like dog (I don't know whether it actually was a Great Dane, as its colouring was grey rather than the buff-brown colour I would associate with a Great Dane). Although the dog was very tall, it was quite evident that she had a very sweet nature, and people were continually approaching the woman to ask her about the dog and to pet the dog.

Last weekend, I noticed an older woman on the sidewalk with a child of about 3 years. She would tell the little girl to stay put, then run a short distance ahead, turn back to the little girl, and hold her arms out. The girl would run into her arms, get a big hug, and then stand in place while the woman ran ahead again and started the whole process. It was pure joy to watch.

It kind of renews your faith in your fellow human beings. :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Going to the Creepy Basement

So if I disappear, look there first. Also, my dentist is Dr. Simpson on Bayview.

Update at 8:39 PM: I made it back!!!! Boy, that basement is creepy!!!