Blog postings

I write about themes of interest to me: personal development, education, addictions, technology, parenting, and creativity. If you like what you see, feel feel to leave a comment or get in touch to continue the conversation.

A Guide to Ethical Wood Use

We tend to think of the tension between pristine nature and human ambition as a contemporary struggle, but the urge to own and exploit forests is a fundamental human impulse. At every point in history, wherever humans have possessed sufficient technology or population to deplete natural abundance, we have done ...

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The Best Pop Songs

The file pouch in my briefcase has a file folder called “Current.” This is the place where all the things I’m supposed to deal with today (or this week) are intended to go. But over time this file has morphed into the “whenever” file, and has become the place ...

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The Jasper Queen

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Epoxy: The Universal Marine Toolkit

Among the materials available to the modern mariner, none is more versatile than epoxy. For gluing, repairing, reinforcing, finishing – even for molding mechanical parts – epoxy provides a unique solution. It’s the duct tape of the sea, only far better. Epoxy can enhance the quality and durability of your boat ...

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Wood Finishing for Marine Use

Woodworkers and boat builders are, on the whole, a contentious bunch. They argue about all kinds of things: tools, methods, aesthetics, materials. But their favorite topic, the one to which they have turned with unfailing habit for centuries, approaching it with an alchemical reverence that borders on mysticism, is that ...

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Go Have Tea!

For the first time since early spring, it’s cold today in Vancouver. A wet, chilling cold that is not so much a function of temperature but of sogginess, of flat light and leaden cloud. I saw some people in shorts on the weekend — when it was partly sunny, when ...

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Psychology Grad School in 10 Minutes

A few weeks ago I co-facilitated a professional development workshop in the corporate environment for folks who had no training in psychology. As part of that workshop, I delivered a module on the basic aspects of the self — mask, shadow, and authentic self — and how these interact. In past workshops ...

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Fiction, Reality, and Philip K. Dick

My students of creativity will be familiar with my affection for the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick — a strange, brilliant, and troubled man whose ideas provided the foundation for modern cinematic sci-fi (beginning with Blade Runner, recently voted by scientists in the UK as the best science fiction ...

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The Great Secret to Recovery from Addictions

For those addicts genuinely seeking a resolution to their struggle, I’ll tell you the great secret up front: find something else to be addicted to, something healthier. That’s all. Addiction is not a light switch, on or off; it’s a way of being in the world, a ...

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Heroin addiction and harm reduction

Ray Charles — acclaimed as one of the twentieth century’s foundational musicians — died this week. Some of the retrospective news items, on TV and on the web, noted his 20-year battle with heroin addiction. Many people were unaware of this, and were surprised that such a hard core addiction was ...

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Why Addictions Treatment Fails

The rates of success for contemporary addictions treatment are miserable. The vast majority of people who undergo it, whether at a treatment center or in the so-called recovery movement — AA, NA and their companion abbreviations — fail to improve (though if they keep trying, their chances of success increase ...

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Psychological patterns in sport and in life

My hometown hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, lost their last game of the season last night in a spectacular showdown with the Calgary Flames. The Canucks nearly won, in overtime, after having come back from the underdog position to score in the last five seconds of regular time. They are ...

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