There have been….issues.

(Source: iStock)
  1. It was rainy out.
  2. I need to pick the right topic. A book is a big commitment and if you start out pointing in the wrong direction you could waste years of effort. Can’t have that.
  3. I need a big block of uninterrupted time to do my best work. Like three or four years worth. Weirdly, none of those convenient multi-year interludes have popped up just yet where I have endless duffel bags of spare cash laying about and simultaneously find myself with zero responsibilities, distractions or human interactions of any kind.
  4. I’m still young — there’s…

Everything’s different now. (source: iStock)

What will today’s teens remember ten or twenty years from now when they think back on their childhood, and specifically the year that was 2020?

I have three kids between the ages of 12 and 15 so this question has been on my mind this week. Each day brings another flood of misery in the news, dire warnings on social media, and a stricter set of restrictions on their movements and interactions here at home (we moved on quickly from “simple” social distancing and are essentially in lockdown mode now). One day they were immersed in their daily routine of…

Delivering newspapers mid-winter on the Canadian prairies looked a little like this. Only colder & darker. (photo: istock)

I’ve been fortunate enough to hold several relatively “high-falutin” positions during my working life. I’ve been a trial lawyer at a large, prestigious law firm and the president of three companies. But I’ve also slogged through a good dose of jobs at the other end of the esteem spectrum — newspaper carrier, busboy, waiter, call-centre agent and minimum-wage retail clerk among them. I learned valuable lessons in those earlier, less glamorous posts that served me well later. I want to share three of the most important ones here:

1. Sometimes you’re the hammer. Sometimes you’re the nail. Treat both positions with respect.

Writing guides tell you to dumb it down. Isn’t it time we smartened up instead?

Close up of a man’s hands writing on parchment in a dark room with candle and old books piled up nearby.
Close up of a man’s hands writing on parchment in a dark room with candle and old books piled up nearby.
Not everything in life is simple. Nor should it be. (Source: iStock)

If you’ve made it past the headline on this article then chances are you are the loquacious type, a word-nerd, a grammar nazi, or some combination thereof. (Go ahead and debate amongst yourselves my use of the Oxford comma in that last sentence — I’ll wait). Voracious readers, fellow writers, editors, I see you over there. Welcome, all of you — you are among friends. Now that we’ve got the room to ourselves, let’s settle in and have a wee chat about verbiage, shall we?

The other day I was drafting an article on Medium and found myself wrestling with…

They’re everywhere. You use them daily. Shouldn’t they have a name of their own?

A Credit Card Machine.
A Credit Card Machine.
Oh look, it’s …a machine.

You’ve seen them. You’ve held them in your hands — repeatedly. In fact, most of us use one several times daily. But somehow, the powers-that-be forgot to give the damn things a name.

I speak, of course, of those small but oh-so-powerful tools of money-seeking shopkeepers and restaurant servers everywhere, the portable credit card payment-processing machine, or as you and I more commonly know it, simply the “machine”. …

Ready to Roll. (Author photo).

As with most motorcyclists, I am regularly asked why I pursue such a risky pastime. Riding a motorbike is inherently dangerous. Tens of thousands of riders die every year. Here in Canada, you are 14 to 15 times more likely to die on a motorbike than in a car. The stats are likely similar elsewhere. You can quibble over exact numbers, or which factors play the biggest role, but the key point remains — bikes aren’t for the faint of heart.

I know all of this. And believe me, I am not a man with a death wish — far…

Boris the Mini Aussie demonstrates a blop. Or is that a mlem? (Photo by author)

While it is commonly said that cats rule the Internet, dogs are no online slouches. And while cats just sound like grumpy humans in the subtitles on their pictures and videos, dogs exhibit a unique dialect all their own. If you’ve ever browsed a dog video on social media you’ve likely noticed the distinctive grammar and jargon that seems to afflict nearly all pooches once they hit the computer to narrate their adventures.

First off, dogs are terrible spellers. While this is no doubt a function of the incompatibility of canine paws with human keyboards, it can make for interesting…

We all want to live better, whatever that entails.

Recently, an element of considered minimalism — or at least a step back from bacchanalian excess — has seeped into our collective consciousness as a good idea, along with the commonly promulgated formula of increasing your sleep, exercise & authentic relationships, and tapping the brakes on things like junk food, social media, and booze.

Buy less crap is the new mantra. Sell, donate or recycle a few tons of accumulated rubble that currently adorns your life. Choose well-made, long-lasting items for things you truly need, so the story goes, and avoid…

Doug Jasinski

Words, kids, dogs, motorbikes, & humour — these are a few of my favourite things. It’s all happening in North Vancouver.

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