Racism exists in Canada

Racism isn’t a political view, and it isn’t a sickness. Having hate in your heart because of the colour of someone’s skin does not deserve compassion, forgiveness, understanding or empathy in any way.

Yasin Osman via Toronto Star

“We’re not American” is a cornerstone of the Canadian identity. With chaos unfolding south of the border, it’s easy to find shelter in the idea that what happens in the US doesn’t happen here, or wouldn’t happen here.

Yes, aspects of what’s happening right now are distinctly American, and we’ve seen it before, too many times, but we can’t let that blind us from the offenses here at home.

Another choice quote from Yasin Osman, via yesterday’s Toronto Star article:

“Pretending that racism doesn’t exist by creating and engaging with hashtags like #MeanwhileInCanada does not help the cause. Canadians need to do better because If you ignore the problem you are part of the problem.”

This blog post, and a short post I dropped on Facebook two nights ago, are the extent of my writing on this subject. Instead I’m reading, sharing, retweeting, amplifying the voices of others. My voice doesn’t need to be heard right now.

My grandfather was a builder

My grandfather was a builder. His garage was his workshop. Workbenches on all sides with meticulously organized storage for all his tools. I remember his Folgers containers, neatly labeled, a different one for each size of screw or nail.

We bought our first house in the fall. I’m slowly embracing the change. I grew up in apartments. Home ownership was a pipe dream for as long as I can remember. Despite our family being in the home building business, it never felt like it was in my future.

Yet here we are.

Keep reading…My grandfather was a builder

This is how I work

Happy Monday Tuesday! I started writing this post yesterday but ran out of time. It’s a fairly comprehensive look at how I work:

  • Systems and processes
  • Running retros with plus/delta
  • Everything starts with writing
  • Getting things done with Todoist
  • My daily routine

Why did I write this? Because I like seeing how the sausage gets made. I find this sort of behind-the-scenes sharing to be really interesting in general. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

I was inspired by the exercise of writing a personal user manual. It’s a document that helps colleagues understand how you work.

I thought it’d be worth documenting this now and coming back in a few months or years to see how things have changed.

I sometimes wish I had started doing this years ago so I could go back and compare notes with my past self.

If you have written a post like this — or decide to write one — please get in touch and let me know. I’d love to read it and share it.

BTW: As with last week, I drafted this whole thing in markdown using VS Code before flipping it over to WordPress. Unlike last week, I pulled the intro out of the markdown block so I could drop a “Read More” after it.

Writing in markdown using VS Code

Keep reading…This is how I work

Midges, my writing process, and getting in the trenches as a community manager

Happy Monday! In last week’s post I mentioned that midges were swarming our yard and keeping me from fixing our fence. Well, it’s gotten worse since then, and our entire neighbourhood is now under siege.

Thankfully the masks we’re wearing for Covid-19 physical distancing work just as well for protecting us from these gnatty waterfront sex swarms.

Seriously. I looked it up.

From what I’ve read, these midge clouds should subside in a couple weeks as the warm weather picks up and things dry out. Here’s hoping.

Keep reading…Midges, my writing process, and getting in the trenches as a community manager

Online is the new normal.

Happy (Easter) Monday.

To steal a line from Torchwood: The 21st century is when everything changes.

We’re going to come out of these Covid-19 lockdowns with a redefined sense of what’s normal.

My hope is that we’ll see support for some form of universal basic income; internet access treated as an essential utility; an uptick in domestic industry; and a renewed appreciation for public healthcare.

My expectation is that small businesses will treat their online presence as a must-have asset rather than a nice-to-have luxury, even if they’re only serving local customers. Retailers will scramble to get their eCommerce storefronts up and running, and restaurants will hunt for affordable solutions to handle deliveries.

A number of larger companies will scale back on office leases as their employees continue to work from home. Remote work and distributed teams will be more commonplace – either as the default, or as a supported option for all new hires.

Keep reading…Online is the new normal.

Recognize your blessings

Not recognizing your blessings feeds into the dark side of capitalism and meritocracy: the notion that success is a choice, and that those who haven’t achieved success are not unlucky, but unworthy. This leads to regressive policies that further reward the perceived winners and punish the perceived losers based on income level.”

Third Base (Scott Galloway)

Those of us who can make a living by working from home are blessed right now.

Sure, it might be inconvenient, if you’d prefer to be in the office with your colleagues every day. But think of all the people who don’t have that option.

And as office workers stay home, think of all the people who’ll likely find their hours being cut because their usual customers aren’t showing up. Then what are the ripple effects from that, further up the chain, as revenue declines?

If you’re not impacted by that ripple effect, that’s another blessing — you’ll be better off, not because you chose to be, but because you got lucky.

Set some guidelines for saying yes.

“We often say yes to everything because we don’t have any hard and fast guidelines for knowing whether or not we want to say yes. Setting guidelines for when you’ll say yes can help you make decisions that will better serve your priorities.

The Art of Doing Nothing (99U)

A friend told me recently that I’m very good (too good?) at saying “yes”.

There’s a long, long list of things I’d like to learn and do. But I need to get better at saying no to new projects, or figuring out how they fit into something I’m already doing.

Paraphrasing a colleague: let’s do a few things really well this year.