E-letter: Who’s the boss?

The first day of school in B.C. was greeted with an all-too-familiar threat. The children would be held hostage to the demands of a public-sector labour union. I propose it is time to take a sober look at what these unions mean, how they arrived where they are and what they hold for us in […]

A password a day keeps you away

By the time this hits print, the underwhelming Apple announcement of its new watch and Iphones may be bigger news. Today (my time) it is, curiously, not. Hidden behind the man with nothing up his sleeve was a new fact. The Iphone 6 is a digital wallet and includes near-field communications (NFC) capability and Apple […]

E-letter: Time to put it down

Statistics Canada last week came out with its reports on residential and non-residential building. Looking for a moment at Residential report and expanding StatCan’s numbers back to 2009, we can see spending on all types of new dwellings was a bit over $8 billion in the second quarter (Q2) 2009. In Q2 2014, five years […]

The Legend of Quadro Tracker

I see from the July 29, 2014 issue of Chicago-based Vance Publishing’s Woodworking Network that it is sponsoring “Canada Reception” with IWF management this year. The apparent reason for the event, according to Editor-at-Large Rich Christianson, is, “Woodworking Network reaches thousands of Canadian woodworkers and suppliers through its daily e-newsletter.” The word “reach” is a […]

Parachute vignettes

I took my grandson to the ball diamond up the hill to launch a new model rocket a while back. It was perfect. We had three engines for three flights, having assembled and painted the rocket during several days before. Following the last flight, I got overcome by nostalgia as the character of the diamond overcame […]

The meaning of meaning

According to Statistics Canada, municipalities issued building permits worth $6.9 billion in May, up 13.8 percent from April. This followed a 2.2 percent rise in March. The May increase resulted primarily from higher construction intentions for commercial buildings in Ontario and Manitoba, as well as multi-family dwellings in British Columbia. The latest news from campusreform.org […]

Some things matter

Three RCMP officers lost their lives last week to another pointless coward. As I write this on the morning after his capture, I am confident the event will dissolve quickly into a smattering of sides and political posturing, compounding the felony. Those of us that make a living on and around retail sales know the […]

Education = Learning AND applying

Wood Industry Conference The underlying theme in Puerto Rico at this year’s Wood Industry Conference was clearly growth, with an emphasis on education. Two of my favourite people were there to present their ideas. One is Dean Mattson, who is a teacher at Cabinet Manufacturing North Salem High School in Salem, Ore., and 2013 Woodworking Machinery […]

Technology: Art or Kraft?

It should be a surprise to nobody that I am fascinated by the cult of marketing. It’s like watching a train wreck: you know nothing good is happening, but you can’t look away. Take last Friday’s edition of Ad Age Daily, for example. The topic was performance-based compensation for ad agencies. You and I may […]

Wood in the spotlight

“What is in a name?” Juliet Capulet famously asked. The answer, she discovered is deeper than she thought. For a man, the easy part of the answer starts with a physical description – height, weight, hair and eye colour… The stuff others need to confirm an identity. But it goes on. For example, each man […]