Entries from October 2004

Moment of Clarity


When things are going well, it opens up time to think about the deeper issues. These are the things that the white noise of everyday existence overpowers and pushes into the background. For me, this opening is brought on by the potent mix of Autumn (season of quiet contemplation and change), and of finally being in a place where I can just be.

The proximity of trees can’t hurt, either.

For me, one thing that grates on my conscious is the fact that I don’t contribute “back to society” as much as I’d like. Sure, I donate to the usual suspects (Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, the local Humane Society, Cancer / AIDS / Diabetes research, etc.), but that doesn’t leave me feeling fulfilled. The money goes away somewhere and I have absolutely no idea what it’s used for.


Here’s the thing: I’ve always believed that people generally want to help others. The problem is that people don’t know how to help. They have no idea what the time or energy commitments might be, and I believe there is an air of suspicion surrounding giving:

Oh, they’ll just use that change to buy drugs.

Most of the money I’ll donate will go towards administration - it’s all corrupt, anyway, so why line the pockets of the bureaucrats?

For me, this low-level guilt is augmented by the fact that I work with computers and the Web, which more often than not means that the work I do is directly, or indirectly related to business. The area that I’m working these days is crawling with web-types; it’s all talk about deliverables and monetization and bottom-line residuals. People either want to be where the money is, or are already there and want to stay where they are.

It all leaves me feeling cold. There has to be a better way to do what I enjoy, while still feeling like I’m not contributing to something that in the end is completely meaningless. Really, who gives a shit if some person has turn-key access to top-tier content and just-in-time rich media?

I’ve reached a point where I need to feel like what I’m doing is leaving the world in a better place than before I started, and this includes my career. So the question then is, how can I do this while maintaining a reasonably humble lifestyle?

Do No Evil, as Google espouses, isn’t enough; the connotation is it’s okay to do nothing. You have to Do Good.

Fleeting Vignettes


… around the corner from the studio, a man wearing a long, grey trenchcoat and carrying a seemingly brand new, spotless briefcase screams bisexual! over and over again at the top of his lungs, as business people swarm past him like cattle moving around a post.

… a fresh-faced Asian girl starts singing baby baby do it to me one more time as her bemused friends stand nearby, clapping and laughing.

… a homeless man leans against a tree and sighs, a smile on his face.

… a couple who look like they stepped out of a Benetton ad stand stone-faced waiting for the metro, holding hands, facing opposite directions.

… on the King streetcar, a woman with thin, fragile arms and long, deep brown hair looks out the window as we pass through Parkdale; a crumpled piece of paper in her hands, and tears streaming down her face.

… walking down Roncesvalles and feeling the cool bite of autumn nibble at my ears, remembering why it is that I am lucky to love.

Geekery with an AirPort Express, a SMC 2804WBR, and WDS

APX and SMC(Editorial warning: incoming copious nerdish acronyms)

In the interests of adding this knowledge to the global encyclopedia, here’s how I managed to get my Apple AirPort Express to extend a wireless network created by a SMC Barricade 2804WBR vers. 2. This is accomplished using the Wireless Distribution System (WDS) that the AirPort Express supports. Unfortunately, Apple only provides instructions for setting up in conjunction with their AirPort Extreme base station.

But, it does work with other configurations, so read on for the gory, geeky details.

» Geekery with an AirPort Express, a SMC 2804WBR, and WDS continues...

the heart is an organ of fire


Our neighbourhood is absolutely gorgeous at this time of year.

Note: If you ever see an image on this site with a frame (like the above image), that means you can click on it to view a larger version. Maybe this is obvious, but some people have emailed who didn’t know this, so I figured I’d mention it.

Check the Photographica archives for more things you can click on.

From the “my head is swelling” file

large head Still from L’Homme à la Tête en Caoutchouc

Apparently, someone at the Now, Toronto’s weekly rag-about-town has decided that the BeatnikPad is the “Best local weblog”. This seems all the more ironic considering I haven’t been back here long enough to even quality for Ontario health coverage yet. But, it’s swell(ing) to be noticed, any way.

Of course, I’m perplexed by this distinction when you consider that there are many other ass-kicking web sites run by locals that are much more deserving, but best-anythings tend to be a pretty strange collection at the, er, best of times.

For those of you visiting here for the first time, go spend some time over at the GTA Bloggers web site. It’ll make you irresistibly sexy, trust me.

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