Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

So I've finally read Atlas Shrugged. I've known about the book since I was a teenager. I'd been meaning to read it for quite a while. and now I have read it yay. it took a while, several months reading a few pages at a time.

It's one of those books that I'd heard of and knew I should have read. It's an important modern book, written in 1957. It was different some of it was from its time. Everyone smokes and cigarettes even are part of the plot. Achievement is important in this book and none of the major characters have any children to keep in mind as they make sweeping life decisions.

I'm not quite sure after reading it how Rand type thinking somehow came to be a pejorative. Rand is big on personal trade and value. She has no use for the supernatural such as religion, or an unseen collective "society" that works for the best for everyone. So Rand is in a sense a humanist, seeing the reasoning free man as the pinnacle.

In the book the protagonists are all attractive, with movie star legs like Dagny, chiselled features on the faces of the men Hank and Francisco. The villains like Wesley are described as slouching, loose faces, rounded shoulders.

So now I know Who is John Galt. I'm not going to tell you, read the book yourself to find out. It's a worthwhile read, not a short book at over 1000 pages. The dialog is a bit stilted in parts, especially the talks between Francisco and Hank. Still Rand is a good writer, a bit of a romantic I think and surprisingly sensuous.

There are some individual speeches in the book that are epic and would be interesting to see done by talented actors. Still I'm not sure if the book would make a great movie. Just because it's long and so much happens. even a three-hour film would have to cut a lot of important stuff out I would think. what would be interesting for modern times would be a graphical novel approach. that way they could string it out over as many volumes as they need while making the message accessible to additional audiences.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Golden Ticket by Lance Fortnow

I finished another book today. it was The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible by Lance Fortnow. I hadn't read any nonfiction in a while.

I was loaned the book by my nephew. he was awarded it for being the top grade 12 math student at Citadel High. that's a significant life accomplishment that will always stay with him. congratulations Noah, a fine young man.

The book was ok. It's about the P-NP problem in math and computer science. aka NP-Complete, see also. I'd head of it especially around the travelling salesman problem. which basically states that there's no "shortcut" trick to determine the fastest way to visit say 20 cities. the only way we know today to determine the optimal route is to list all the millions of possible ways to arrange the 20 stops, calculate the mileage on each, and from there determine which is the least.

The author Dr. Fortnow is himself a professor in computer science. He does a good job of introducing the subject in a way accessible to the layman. Fortnow is obviously comfortable in this area and an expert on the rigorous and formal mathematical side i.e. he's read and understands the Cook and Levin papers and may have done some original advanced research himself around this subject area.

There is an error in the book on page 137 in chapter 8. The author describes a two player game where P1 picks an integer. P2 without knowing the P1 number then chooses "even" or "odd". P2 wins if the guess matches the number. P1 wins if the even/odd guess does not match. The author states
If both players play randomly, each will win half the time.
This is technically true but not really accurate or optimal. it is sufficient that one player play randomly and each will win half the time. for example if P1 chooses his number at random then he is indifferent to the even/odd guessing strategy used by P2 and P1 will win half the time.  on the other hand if P2 chooses even/odd randomly then he is indifferent to the number generation scheme P1 may be using and P2 will win half the time.


Still I'd describe the book as a bit dull. he uses a running example of an imaginary place called Frenemy with 20,000 inhabitants where everyone is either a friend or enemy to everyone else. I couldn't bring myself to care or be much interested in Frenemy and the people who live there so it was kind of meh. And the clique problem. A clique is basically a group of say Facebook users who are all Facebook friends with each other. i.e. everyone is friends with everyone else in the clique. I wonder what the largest clique on Facebook is today? around 300 maybe? The first few pages around clique were pretty interesting. but I kind of wish he'd left it at some point and just moved on, even if it made the book a bit shorter. he kept coming back to clique and it was less interesting each time.

The final 2 chapters were about tangential topics quantum computers and major trends in computing today such as big data and connected devices. it wasn't readily apparent what these things had to do with P ≠ NP. they kind of felt like they had just been bolted on as additional material to fill out the book to some prescribed number of pages for publication.

well it's good to get back into nonfiction again. it's good to balance my reading. I've got some fiction on the go right now and some more nonfiction around the corner.

Monday, June 02, 2014

in support of maritime union

For a long time we've heard about the idea of the three maritime provinces in Canada merging to form a single large province. While the idea has never reached a serious discussion it has remained on the radar screen over the years.

The time has now come for the maritime provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to unite. It's a different world today than at Confederation in 1867. What made sense back then doesn't make much sense today.

The three provincial legislatures today have a total of 111 elected representatives. Ontario has seven times the population of the maritime provinces and its provincial legislature has 107 seats. The maritimes are overgoverned.

Nova Scotia in particular is declining and basically failing. Several of the NS municipalities have folded just this year and just had their populations and roads absorbed into the surrounding county. The trend should really writ large with Nova Scotia itself seeking to be absorbed into some larger entity.

The biggest question is the same as when I was a kid. Where should the capital be? Halifax or Moncton. I think that the answer is clearly Moncton. Moncton is within a reasonable 3-4 hour drive for more of the population than Halifax is. thus it would be possible to be on the road early, arrive at a midday meeting and lunch, be back on the road and home for supper without having to stay overnight.

Halifax seems to have a "toxic" effect on the areas around it. While Halifax has prospered and grown, the NS rural areas have shrunk. often seemingly the growth and prosperity of Halifax has come by depopulating the rural areas. with New Brunswick and Moncton it seems better balanced and other centres such as St. John, Fredericton, and the rural areas being more able to hold their own.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

silliest saying in hockey. 2 goal lead is bad

A while back at work this guy was talking about a hockey game one of his children was in. They were in the lead but the other team came back and beat them. He said about it "two goal lead, the worst thing in hockey". or something like that. and it is kind of a conventional wisdom. even a couple of weeks ago on TSN, who ought to know hockey, an announcer referred to a "dreaded two goal lead".

but if you think about it at all you realize how wrong that saying is. it's certainly not universally true. consider this. there's 20 seconds left in the game. would you prefer to be ahead by two goals or down by two?  that actually generalizes to "is there any time in a game where you would prefer to be down two than up by two". hmmm we can see the saying doesn't hold water.

if it was true then that would greatly affect strategy. suppose a game starts and after a few minutes one team scores. if a 2 goal lead is "bad" then the scored on team should then attempt to shoot the puck into their own net to then gain the "advantage" of being down by two. it just shows what a silly and obviously incorrect saying it is in hockey yet people still believe it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

we can talk about North Preston's Finest and East Preston's Finest

I was a bit surprised on CBC supper hour news last week to hear the words "North Preston's Finest" spoken. I thought maybe it was a slip or an editing error on the air. You had to watch for it a bit. But it's online too here and here.

It seemed to be a self imposed taboo for the last few years for any local print or broadcast news outlet to ever speak of the rival Preston gangs North Preston's Finest aka NPF and East Preston's Finest aka EPF. I mean I generally don't know anything and I know about NPF and EPF. so the media certainly knows. and I've known going back to the liquordome brawl way back. It's so weird watching the news over the years and its like after hours club shooting here, Preston shooting there, Mineville shooting somewhere else and the media chooses to mislead the public just talking about some unspecified "gang" activity while for whatever reason leaving out key information about specific rival gangs.

Consider some of the other coverage. The media pretty much publishes detailed org charts on the Spryfield Marriott and Melvin groups and everyone is ok with it. and it's not like people apply labels to Spryfield as a whole over it. It's just an activity that a tiny percentage of Spryfield people are involved in. so why the code of silence all these years over NPF and EPF? well I guess now the word is finally out so perhaps we'll be hearing more of them in the months ahead.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

KB Tactical Laser Tag

A little while ago I tried out KB Tactical - Mission Based Laser Tag with the kids. It was really good! Better than I was expecting. It's part of Kartbahn. My younger son had wanted to go for some time. We were at Kartbahn one day and it was a lot of people at racing so we decided to give the laser tag a try.

We had a good time. The laser tag weapons they use are advanced and have a great feel and are a blast to use. The setup of the missions is well designed fast paced and fun. The layout of the arena is good for strategy and exercise and lots of action.

It's not all that well known to me at least that it's there and there's really good laser tag in Bayers Lake but there is. I recommend it and we're planning to go again.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Graph TV and some shows

on facebook and old friend from back at SupportSoft posted a link to Graph TV. it was fun to play with it and type in some shows. I'll mention a couple here


Californication is pretty accurate. First season good, second season ok, then steadily downhill. After the Mia storyline played out the show was just silly. I can't believe I watched it through season 4, or was it S5 when I finally gave up? may have been S5, S4 was horrible until about the final three episodes when they recaptured some awesomeness and suckered me into another season.


Friends is not very accurate. nobody will seriously say the final two seasons were 85-90% as good as the first two. the last two seasons were unwatchable. The Chandler-Monica storyline was terrible on every level. I didn't even watch the finale, what was the point? There must be some sample bias in the Friends episode ratings. By the end only the hardcore fans were left and still voting 8 and  9, while many like me just voted with their feet and stopped watching.

Still the early Friends did have some moments. I liked how actions tended to have far reaching and unexpected consequences. Chandler unprofessionally falls asleep at a meeting at work and is dispatched to Tulsa Oklahoma.  Ross enjoys a short fling while on a break from Rachel and is never able to live it down. the fallout lasts years and ends up defining the remainder of the show.  Ross acts like a big shot at a pricey restaurant topping up Goodfellas tip and ends up having to pick up the entire cheque.  Monica and Phoebe get their catering business going and then Monica lands her dream chef job at a restaurant and abruptly throws the catering and Phoebe under the bus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

new home page - Protopage

so my Yahoo home page that I'd been with for many years just abruptly vanished this week. thanks Yahoo!

I don't know why Yahoo would shut down the home pages. they hadn't added any features in years except more and larger ads. so they can't be spending much time or money on it. I've seen many thousands of ads off my Yahoo home page and even clicked on a few here and there over the years.

oh well so I have to move on. after a bit of searching for a new home for my bookmarks and rss feeds I found some good reviews for Protopage. I'm now set up with Protopage as my new browser home page. It was very easy and even a little bit fun to work with. Like I said I don't have a lot of content, just links to the sites I visit most days like Dilbert, and some RSS feeds for news and such. I now get a lot of news, especially local news, from Twitter.

For the news feeds I wanted to cut off Yahoo so they don't get any ad impressions off me. I went with CTV news feeds to start out to give them a try. my feeds are top stories, Canada, world, and Atlantic Canada.

so +1 to Protopage I recommend.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

early Steynamite Christmas shopping

Readers here will know I'm a fan of Mark Steyn. For a long time at his site I somehow didn't realize Mark Steyn's Passing Parade is actually a book. I've read some of his obits from the book and they are really good.

I've already read America Alone and After America and they are great books. So I was going to get the Passing Parade anyway. Then I realized there's at least one other person I know who I think would enjoy the passing parade too. So I can also get another copy as a gift.

So far so good. This was looking to later this year. Then the Michael Mann lawsuit came along. what a nuisance. but I wanted to help out in my small way so I got my gift certificate which I'll use some of in a few months.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Olympic hockey semi finals

Like quite a few I watched the Olympic semi finals today. work from home can be useful at times. of course I'm glad Canada won over a very good USA team.

I overheard a guy at the fish and chips place said the game was boring. I wouldn't call it that, but the game was a bit different than in 2010. it didn't seem as fast or intense as the 2010 showdown. it had more the feel of a preseason game. except for Phil Kessel who was flying around. it might as well have been a women's game for how little checking there was. also as Don Cherry pointed out a defenceman let a USA forward blow past him on the outside in the first period, something that never happens in an NHL game.

I got thinking there may have been a couple of factors in the reduced intensity.

first the John Tavares injury is such a shame. but it's a reminder these guys are here as volunteers and they need to stay healthy for their real jobs in the NHL. so the players may have been motivated to take a bit off, avoid collisions and stay safe

after the 2010 gold medal game which was a generational event and incredible dramatic game it's pretty hard to follow that. so this was possibly a very good game which happened to be the match after the memorable 2010 tilt

there's a bit and switch element. in 2010 we were told this was the last time the NHL players would be in the Olympics. the final time it would be the best versus the best, nation versus nation, a place in history on the line. so that added a lot of intensity to the 2010 event. and yet here we are only four years later and the NHL players are already back. and they'll be back in four years. the players were scammed four years ago and now they see it for what it is. another tournament.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gerald's Trucking Halifax

I'll use this space to put in a good word for Gerald's Trucking in Halifax. They cleared out my uncle's apartment this week. Very easy to work with. Cost was reasonable and what I had expected. They showed up right on time and finished quickly.

We'd had Gerald's in before when my parents moved and there was this gigantic couch to remove from the basement. They were top notch then too. That time they had to use a chainsaw to cut the couch in pieces to get it out!

I'm glad Gerald's is still around. I remember them from growing up back in Fairview.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

birthday cards tip

here's a quick tip if you find you sometimes need a birthday card for a kids activity or whatever and aren't real fussy about cards.

don't hassle yourself with having to make a trip to the dollar store each time. instead when you are at the dollar store stock up and by 3,5, however many generic good enough birthday cards. so just keep a supply at home and use them when needed. when they get low or run out refill your home supply with several.

this may be totally standard. for some reason it took me a long time to realize how much easier it is to stock up on dollar store birthday cards. a couple of months ago there were some awesome cards at the dollar store. one was really weird and offbeat and just brilliant. another birthday card had an embedded deathwish in the cover art! they've since been used, I wish I'd taken pics to post here

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Target Canada Royal Bank credit card has been hacked

Last December I did some shopping at Target. While I was there I noticed there was a 5% discount if you used their card. So I got a form and sent it in.

Around the time I sent there was the big US story about Target getting hacked. uh oh, but I wasn't too concerned I figured they would just suspend the application until the security issues were fixed. Also I hadn't heard of any problems in Canada.

So in early February the Royal Bank called to tell me to go to my local branch to pick up my card. I went down on Thursday February 6 and picked it up and went through a tedious process with the reception followed by a teller to register or whatever.

After finishing at the branch the next step was to call the 1-800 number to activate the card so it could be used. I hadn't gotten to it yet. Then on Friday February 7 I get a call from Royal Bank security asking me if I'd made some purchases on the Target MasterCard. There was something on Feb 2 at astrology.com and some other place I'd never heard of. Of course security was just confirming the charges were bogus as I hadn't even received the card from the branch until the 6th, and the card hadn't even been activated yet.

So nice start I haven't even received the card and there are already unauthorized transactions. How did these even go through if the card wasn't activated? How was the card number even obtained? who knows, it's a pretty disappointing experience. I expected better of the Royal Bank and Target for that matter than to be involved in some matter like this. I'd never done anything with the Royal Bank before and it seems unlikely I will in the future.

The Royal Bank security said to destroy the card and they would send me a new one. I called them back and said to just cancel the whole thing. I want nothing to do with it at this point. I have all the credit limit space I need and I only got this for the discount. If it's going to be a hassle and something I have to worry about then who would want that.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

R I P uncle Claude

Bad news my uncle died last week. He was a good man, good to the kids. He had never married and only had his nieces and nephews and their kids.

The funeral went over well. Good turnout. Snow's did a great job. I'd been there with some other people and back on Windsor Street and they were always top notch. I ended up doing a reading Ecclesiastes 3. I used to have a blue bookmark of that chapter when I was young. A fine passage.

At the graveside Snow's hired some muscle to help pallbearers. The commissionaires actually do it, who knew? As most of those at graveside were old. I did manage to volunteer to carry the heavy coffin. Might be the 2nd or 3rd time now. Something I find satisfying for some reason.

Well the funeral is done so that's the time sensitive part. Less time sensitive is to get the apartment cleaned out. My dad is next of kin and executor so there are a lot of details. It's a bummer because he's really too old himself to be taking this on. We've been trying to help as we can. The apartment is going ok. We cousins did a sweep to box up anything for charity or sentimental items anyone wanted such as an old cookie jar. Salvation Army truck is coming on Thursday followed by find a junk remover for the last of it. He lived modestly so it hasn't been too bad with clutter. The timing is fortunate around the apartment he died early in the month so it's not too rushed to clear out of there.

Well he'll be missed, his absence will be noticed. I last saw him at Christmas we picked him up for the family dinner. He was pretty well then and right to the end really, never in the hospital. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

working from home

I've been working from home for a few weeks now from early January. It was announced last October and is now running. My badge at the old office was cancelled for some unknown reason so there's no going back.

It's going pretty well so far. I certainly don't miss travelling to work and back each day. Many things are similar to before I still get a shower and get dressed each morning. Maybe a shade not as nice but I haven't yet converted to all day sweatpants.

On the ground floor in my building with electric vents it's always a challenge to keep it warm enough at reasonable cost. I have been using the Presto HeatDish I got at Costco which a friend recommended last year for the apartment. It's been a great find. Especially for computer work at home where you generally stay fixed in one position. I wish I'd got it last year. Generally I only have the dish on during the day and all other heaters off and it has worked well enough.

It's nice I don't have to make and bring a lunch any more, yay. Still I like to eat lunch. I used to get a peanut butter and jam sandwich pretty much every day as that was the fastest and easiest to make. I haven't had that once since work from home. At home with the toaster I can do a bit better. I still want to be quick and avoid generating excessive dishes. I had a grilled cheese the first day at home and it was ok. Since then pretty much just toasting the bread and putting peanut butter on one and jam on the other. Maybe I'll check the grocery store many years ago I used to make sandwiches with meats and with toasting and mayo this has potential. I picked up a new toaster long overdue as my old one wasn't doing a good job for a long time.

With the work from home work ordered this desk from Steelcase. It was bigger than I expected, they had to take the door off the room to get it in. I wish I'd ordered the next smaller model. Along with the stuff from my cleared out cubicle I'm still trying to figure out how to absorb it into the space. It does get me finally moving on a long overdue kijiji project to clear out old unused stuff and hopefully that will help with the crowding.

Historically going back to 2007 there has always been a real focus and importance around where I live for where I work. So a fast, convenient and cost effective commute has been the key driver when choosing where to live. Now today with work from home where I live and where I work are now the same. Which means I could live anywhere. So I could move to Cape Breton, Springhill, Moncton, Montreal or Saskatoon and it wouldn't make any difference to my employer. Moving isn't on the radar screen at this time but it does create some possibilities.

Monday, January 27, 2014

nurses and doctors in Nova Scotia

A story went by about a looming nurses shortage in Nova Scotia. 45% of the nurses in Nova Scotia are over age 50. which is basically right in the baby boom nurses coming to the end of their careers. Can anything be done about it. that is, could the supply or demographics of the nurses be changed meaningfully in the next few years.

while nurses demographic reflects that of the population, this problem has been made much worse than it could have been due to a terrible policy decision around a generation ago. for a century the hospitals in Nova Scotia had a 2 year nurses residence program where a person would emerge after the 2 years as a fully qualified nurse. in the early 1990s these 2 year hospital nurse programs were force shut by the provincial governments of the day in favor of 4 year university nursing programs.


what a disaster that decision was. so the time to become a nurse was then artificially doubled from 2 years to 4 for no reason. raising the barriers and cost to becoming a nurse chokes off the supply of new nurses. perhaps that was the intent a generation ago? also with the hospital residence scheme a person could finish with minimal debt. so it was a bizarre and nonsensical decision to shut down the 2 year programs. the correct move then and now was to shutter the 4 year university nursing programs and insist that in Nova Scotia it takes only 2 years to become a nurse.

 --

over with the doctors the Lacewood Medical Centre is closing. the owner said he has 20,000 patients and only three family doctors and was losing money. that was actually my clinic although luckily I was a rare visitor. will have to sign up somewhere else I guess. Dr. Power said he's lost Drs and was having trouble recruiting replacements.

let's take Dr. Power at his word that there's a general shortage of Drs in at least some situations. it's been documented about rural Drs certainly being a challenge to recruit. 

so maybe the thing with drs is the same as with nurses. if the time to become a nurse was artificially doubled by fiat from 2 years to 4, then maybe the same has also been true with drs. maybe the 8-12 years we've been told to become a doctor is also artificially inflated for political and certain special interests. if we know it actually takes 2 years to become a nurse then how much more intense should it be to become a doctor? offhand twice as hard sounds about right. so even if it was twice as much then it should be doable in 4 years to become a doctor right out of high school. even 5 years is 2.5 times as long. I wonder in "the past" how long it took to become a doctor.

if the time to qualify "good enough" doctors could be reduced to say 4-5 years direct out of high school then that would fix a lot of problems. the dr only has to be good enough to help grind a 20k patient caseload. writing standard prescriptions, routine situations and treatments, and managing well understood chronic conditions. and it's not like the current doctors are all that special. every day there's stories about misconduct and malpractice and drs being named on suicide notes (after being suspended earlier for misconduct), so I doubt these optimized track educated doctors would be materially worse.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The failure of the United States

Oh no another doom post on the United States. Everything there looked right. My fave was #13.

If the US eventually fails then my belief is the failure can be traced to two events around a century ago.

  • the elected Senate
  • introduction of the income tax

with the elected Senate then the house and the Senate are now aligned in their agenda. with the appointed Senate there was proper balance between the common sense of the common people, and the wisdom of the elites. when Senators were appointed by and answered to the governor then states rights were respected and there was a natural check on the spendthrift and expansionist house. with the elected Senate there becomes a natural alliance between the house and the senate with no counterbalance as they answer to the same constituents and pursue the same agenda which can be reckless and irresponsible


the income tax is the other key and related part of it. before federal income tax there was a natural financial boundary on what the federal government could do so it was limited to responsibilities enumerated in the constitution such as the common defence, and foreign embassies. the constitution was designed this way for a reason with prohibition on the taxation of individuals as a natural check and limit on the growth and expansionist tendencies of the federal government. alas after the income tax there was now vast revenue, and combined with an elected senate, the 10th amendment effectively went out the window decades ago. today the vast majority of the federal budget is spent on programs that have no constitutional basis to exist.

despite the enormous revenue generated by the income tax spendthrift congressmen and senators have of course grown spending and promises of spending even faster and now the result is catastrophic debt and unfunded liabilities

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

bought new car

I got a new car over the Christmas break. An expensive present to myself I guess. It was to replace my 2005 Honda Civic which was old with over 200,000 km and needed $2,000 of work from the mechanic's estimate.

It was new to me anyway a 2013 Nissan Sentra with only 19,000 km. Salesman said it was one owner coming off lease. It had some new type features such as 2 years and 40,000 km of full warranty left.

I got it at O'Regan's Green Light in Dartmouth. I bought from O'Regan's because they sponsored Dartmouth North baseball where my kids played.

It was a good buying experience. I identified some candidates in my budget range which was late model quality used with low mileage to replace the Honda. Their website was well designed to narrow the search. With a shortlist I booked an appointment and arrived for the test drives on a Saturday morning.

I drove the Sentra, a 2013 Ford Focus, and a 2012 Toyota Corolla. It was a close decision with the Corolla but I went with the Sentra as it was a year younger and had the best fuel economy.

I got dealer financing as there was a special where they offered either winter tires or a $500 gift card to the store of your choice if you use their financing. I went with the winter tires. So I'm all set there.

They threw in a welcome coupon for a free oil change and $10 off the next 4 oil changes. So I got my first minor service for free. With the coupons the cost of an oil change is the same as my regular garage so I'll be treating myself to dealer service for a little while at least. Maybe until the warranty wears off. will see.


The car is running well so far. The Civic ran well for 8 years and 205,000 km. I hope this vehicle can be as successful. One good thing is work from home starts next week so that will cut thousands of km a year and save a lot of wear and tear and hopefully extend the vehicle life.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

happy new year

wow January 5th already. back to work tomorrow, ugh. still it's good to have a job to go to. much better to face back to work tomorrow than to have to face pounding the pavement.

on new years eve I didn't have the kids for the first time in a few years. they're getting older on me. I went down to the casino to fill in the time. kids in the next day so I didn't want to drink. it was fine there. the countdown passed and everyone went back to their slot machines and table games.

figured it would be busy so I just took the bus down. the city had a nice thing with free buses and extended service so you could stay till midnight and still get home. so that's what I did, caught the bus at 12:45 and home around 1:30. It was nearly a half hour wait for the bus. I was very happy when it rode up the hill to the stop. It was freezing cold out.

sitting on the bus I thought how nice it was to be out of the cold with a nice seat and a free ride nearly to my place. how glad I was that the service was extended and it did arrive after the half hour and I was able to catch the ride home.

most years I don't do resolutions and I don't really have any this year. I guess it's just to notice and appreciate the positive little things a bit more. like when a bus arrives from the cold. and having a warm place to return to. and a job to go to on Mondays. and being paid to stay home on vacation for a few weeks over Christmas.

there's a lot of unknowns heading into 2014 and this time next year stuff that isn't on the radar screen today may end up being important. so whatever happens will happen. I can just try to do the right things and appreciate the positive and good results will follow.