Morning in Montreal

I should be awake now.  But I can’t help feeling laid back and lazy.  After all is not a vacation a good excuse to relax.

Outside the window, grey daylight streams in filtered by light curtains.  Inside I sit and write.  Outside the wind blows.  The dark silohuette of a tree rocks its branches to and fro in the wind.  Inside I sit and write this and other things.

Later on I will go out and do some sightseeing and shopping.  Later it will rain.  But at least it won’t snow as the earlier meterological reports forecasted.  My tea has gone cold.  I must finish my writing now.

Writing on a Train

I neglected to post a blog entry today in the morning.  I felt too tired and uninspired to write anything of substance.  Also I could not relax until I knew I had left Toronto.

Now it is evening.  And I’m on a train, again going the farthest east on land I’ve been in Canada.  I’m going to Montreal again.  Slowly the English Breakfast tea is starting to kick in.  The air feels heavy and tired.  And I can write in peace.

It is amazing how quiet the train is.  Most of  the time I only hear the clatter of metal wheels on metal rail.  The swaying of the car is both comforting and awakening.  In Europe the trains don’t sway as much.  I guess the sway is one of the beauties of the Canadian track.  Everyone else used concrete ties and high-tech rails.  Not us Canadians, good old turn of the century-the 19th century that age of steam, iron and men driving nails with sledgehammers-wooden ties with metal piles.  But this doesn’t bother train, as I hurtle towards my destination.

Now the inspiration comes, slowly.  I will begin on my craft now.  So will be born my book, on board a Canadian VIA train bound for Montreal.

A Quest for Easy Multiblog Setup

One of the downside of sporting the ‘Y’ chromosone, is the tendency to setup new kit without reading instructions.  In my case a similar thing happened with my sites.  I bought a domain and hosting.  Then I installed Drupal hearing all the wonderful things I heard about Drupal. What I didn’t do was research to find out installing Drupal on GoDaddy could be problematic.  And that Drupal is complicated to setup exactly how you want to.  Also it turns out that Drupal is a pain to maintain.  At least  for me it seems that way.

Maybe the problem is because I am writer.  As a writer I tend to view in the lens of literature.  World history becomes a story, the Internet looks awfully like a multimedia capable library and all my websites morph into glorified blogs.  I just can’t wrap my head around on WHY I actually need a CMS.  I fought around with Drupal to get to look not half arsed.  And then I installed WordPress for my blog and everything… just… worked!   Out of the box.  No questions asked.  No fiddling around with .htaccess files.  No monkeying around for modules just to do something useful.

Now I plan on transitioning my stealth project sites to WordPress.  However I don’t want to handle multiple installations.  A separate installation for my own personal blog is fine.  But not for a separate installation for each project.  Especially since all of my self-hosted projects will actually stem from one central project/system.  I looked at WordPress MU but it looks too complicated to setup and maintain.  I’m trying to avoid hacks if possible.  But the WP Hive module/plugin looks promising.  I’ll keep you updated on how things progress.

Notes: Excuse if some of my thoughts seem cryptic.  Those in the know will understand why I can’t speak plainly about my upcoming projects.  Those who don’t know will find out later, once I’m ready to announce my ideas to the rest of the world.  And dear GoDaddy admins, fear not.  I am not going to start a massive blog network on this hosted space.  I just need a single tidy installation to run a few very related websites with different domains.  So please don’t swing Thor’s ban hammer at my account. 🙂


Friedrich von Hayek:
“We mustn’t assume that all problems are solvable in the short period. There are problems that we cannot solve or which trying to solve them quickly may do more harm than good.”

Hayek was being interviewed by the press in 1975 on economic problems at the time.  This question answers directly to the question of what initiatives that a government to relief people in the time of inflation and crisis.  However this also is true to many other aspects of life.

Source: “Hayek Meets the Press in 1975”, Karen Y. Palasek, Mises Institute, URL:

Still Regular But Not Always Public

As I blogged about before the control of information has become the difficult topic in the 21st century.  Once information becomes public it becomes next to impossible to restrict its flow.  Restrictions and privacy used to be something implicit and natural.  In today’s networked world it must be a life policy.  One of the things I decided that this blog will be excellent for is to document my thoughts.  Up till now, I have documented mostly only knowledge I wanted to make public.  Unfortunately, I suppressed my own private writings or made them uncomfortable to access to even myself.  Only problem is that personal confidential information bubbled out or was hinted at, and most likely to people that I probably shouldn’t of told.  Now I trust these people enough to not air my private discussions with them.  But I can never be sure how far I can put out my trust.

WordPress has this fantastic option to keep certain posts private.  And I plan to exploit this to document more sensitive thoughts.  I am aware that any hosted app is still vulnerable, so material of an extremely confidential nature will not go up.  But then again, I don’t ever write such material on anything other than the surface of my neurons.  So henceforth I still plan on blogging regularly.  Just not all the posts will be for public consumption. You’ve been forewarned.

That Subscription Did Pay Off…

Mind Tools logo

In January I decided to that I need to work on my time management and organization skills.  Especially with the amount of different projects and events happening in and around my life, I need to find scraps of time here and there.  Not to mention I need to remember tasks, people, the locations of miscellanous small items, and other important bits of data.  In the past one of my friends, Lina–she is who helped get me on track in university–pointed out the Mind Tools website as a great resource.  So last month, lured by the prospect of free e-books I subscribed to the Mind Tools website.  Even with the little time I have to read all the Mind Tools resources, I still found that the subscription definitely paid off.  Now I probably do not need the more managerial material.  But the time management, communication and project management resources already proved useful.  Heck I did not know that I have started implementing the concept of kaizen and reducing mud.  I highly recommend the Mind Tools site as a valuable organizational and time management skills training resource.

Variations of the Void Ad Infinitum

I sat today and wondered about the infinite variations of life, possibilities and their outcomes.  This time I didn’t think about the standard what-if things happened this way or that in the past.  Looking back into the past beyond analysing and preventing mistakes or repeating successes is pointless.  A variation in a single event can produce an uncountably infinite number of possible future outcomes.  The human brain can not process such amounts.  It also can not foresee or keep track of all the effects of how something might change.

The future is equally unknowable.  Here at least we have the ability to shape the future by actions in the present or near future.  And seem to have fallen into the trap of musing which path I should take.  Now I am not on the crossroads between choosing where life can go.  But there are certain possibilities that might arise in the near future.  The question arises which of these possibilities are likelyest.  And how much positive and negative change can different decisions take.  I’m trying to avoid the obvious problems that: a) the future is unknowable, b) many events and circumstances may arise that I will no or little control over, c) an uncountable infinite number of “future”s are possible by varying any event or circumstance, d) many possibilities relie on the decisions of people whose actions may be predictable but not entirely.

After reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, I stopped worrying too much about the future and things beyond my control.  The future looks grim at times, better at others.  I try to stay positive.  But I question how much effort of my own will influence my lot.  In past ages, before the chaos of magical economic thinking and social utopian governments, this calculation could be greatly simplified.  Today however, the amount of influence I have over my life and my actions seems to contract at every moment.  With the future looking grim, this realization makes me want to skirm.  But skirming inside your own skin never accomplished much.

Instead I sit and attempt to calculate what events I can initiate on my end.  The most frustrating part of these calculations is that result in events that arise in 3 categories.  The first being a change of circumstance arising from a lot of work, time and effort.  These while in my control, are problematic in that the future value of said work is unknowable and the present value is simply nothing more than that of a pasttime.  The second category stems from interesting propositions.  I have several of these in various aspects of my life.  But in the past when I pursued said propositions, nothing arose from them.  I must simply wait and see.  The last category are changes that are so wildly unpredictable, I barely can foresee the results.  Example if I were to move to say, another continent, there would be a huge number of possibilities.  Things would change.  The question remains for the better or worse.

So I sit and brood over this and that.  The events, environments and results fluctuate wildly in my mind.  But I wonder if any of this mental gymnastics will produce anything of substance.  I also wonder if someone has already not conceived of some mental framework to simplify such analysis…

A Weekend of Inaction

This weekend turned out not as productive as I planned it to be.  Instead of working on any writing or replying to any e-mails or doing any real computer-related work.  I did enjoy the guilty pleasure of semi-disconnecting from the Web.  This disconnect actually helped with the dose of soul-searching and self-pity that comes with the hyper-worldly message of Valentines being spouted at you.  I also took it easy since I needed unwind from my recently hectic schedule.  I did some work done around the house.  So I apologize to everyone who expected a response from me earlier.  I’ll respond to your e-mails today.

However one thing I managed to work was the conceptual ideas behind my novel.  I want to achieve a high-level of realism in this book.  After some thought, I decided to try and go the “strange reality” route that Strugatsky’s The Roadside Picnic espouses.  So while some of the technology will be futuristic, it will mostly consist of “upgrading” today’s technology.  No flying between planets, and I took the hazardous route of making the entire story on the Earth.  I’ll have to tread lightly to avoid making any direct statements about current politics and the such.  But other than that, the book will feel more realistic and better researched.  My imagination only goes so far, before things start sounding fake.  Not having to imagine things, and places will help speed writing the book I think.  Now lets see if the theory matches practice though.

Blogging Update

As you may have noticed, I am back to blogging on a regular schedule.  In fact this past week, I got a full five workdays all covered.  And was no easy task.  Now I’ll be the first to admit that not all of my blogs are actually written on a daily basis.  Rather I am liking WordPress’ option of scheduling blogs.  So now I get to make a buffer of the blogs I’d to publish, and I can keep up with regular blogging even if I am not.  That said, if some interesting timely news breaks, I try to make sure I get it out right away.

Still even with the options of scheduling blogs, the amount of writing takes its toll.  Currently I am on hiatus from my novel.  But that is simply because my life is always busy in general.  I hope to keep this regularity up.  And I plan also on more regular updates to my writing and my other projects.

Also I’ve played around with the theme and static content of this blog.  I think I like the current setup and I’ll keep it around for a while.