Archive for the 'Books' Category

Reading Party in the Park! part two

Last night I had my 2nd Reading Party in the Park!

I had my first Reading Party in ze Park last August, which you can read about by clicking here.

This one was a long time coming, since the previous two dates it was raining!

Thanks a lot Mother Nature.

Here are some pics:

photo 1 (24) photo 2 (19) photo 3 (17) photo 4 (18)

I was focused to make this one bigger, badder, better than before.

I texted people on the day of the event to remind them. Lots of people were nursing hangovers or actually sick from the annual Calgary Stampede that had just ended on Sunday.

But in reality about 15 people showed up, which is about the same as last year. I blame the constant postponing due to rain! It’s all good.

I provided cheese, fresh fruit – watermelon, nacho’s + salsa, guacamole, grapes, water…Twas a tasty affair if I may so.

I didn’t do this last time!

New friends were made. 15 is actually good number of people for an event like this.

Was great to see circles of friends meeting.

More importantly, I finally got some READING TIME in! I’ve been slacking on this routine this year.

Till next time,




Reading party in a park!

Last night I had a little “reading party” in a nearby park.  Now I’ve held one before, but this time it was more fun because  it was outside and warm!  This doesn’t happen often in Calgary.

Anyways it went swimmingly!  It consisted of hanging out with friends, socializing for an hour, and then reading whatever book each person wanted to read.

Socializing  + Reading + Park = fun event.

Some tricks to get people to the party?

I gave everyone 2 week notice.  In addition to making a facebook event, I personally emailed/phoned most of the people.  A little personal touch goes a long way. It shows you actually want them to come out to this week day event!

Now some still flaked out, but the ones that did attend loved it.

Here are some pics:

photo (44)


photo (43)

photo (46)

People arrived around 7 pm.  Everyone introduced themselves, etc.

At 8 pm we all read for one hour.  I remember some people getting a little restless for it to turn 8 pm so they could finally get there READ on!

I didn’t have to act library cop at all either. Except towards the end  a couple walking by found it utterly hilarious that 10-12 people were ALL reading in a park and began giggling. LOL.  I immediately gave them the evil eye and  shhh’ed them!  They complied and left.

Anyways this is a simple, fun event you can also hold. I give credit to Nev at for spreading the reading party idea. I tweaked it a bit of course and  it went off well!

Note to self: Bring healthy snacks/drinks for everyone. Oops.

hey you, don’t buy this jacket!

I was nerding out one day watching a question and answer video on Tim Ferriss, where he recommended 3 books, one of them being  this business memoir called Let My People Go Surfing.

I read the first few pages and instantly got drawn to this unusual story.  It’s a topsy turvy life story by Yvon Chouinard, who reluctantly started a business based on his love for the outdoors, mainly rock climbing and hiking, etc.

He started to create tools and materials that he felt he needed. He realized others liked and desired these products too, so he created this company as we know today as Patagonia.

I like this guy a lot cos he challenges conventional wisdom on business.  Not to just aim for pure profits, but make society better.

Anyways, I got curious yesterday and thought.. I wonder what Patagonia’s blog like?  So I  found it and  came across this beauty post explaining their latest advertising in the New York Times.

DON”T BUY THIS JACKET is the headline!  On America’s greatest consumer holiday – Black Friday!

I mean you must be thinking oh how clever. Addressing the consumerists. Say don’t buy it, taking the opposite approach to capture attention. That’s what my initial reaction would be to this if I didn’t know the Patagonia back story.

AND yes! That’s what it is  – however this is not just a stunt.  Patagonia throughout it’s history has had this philosophy:  don’t buy more if you don’t need it.

It’s controversial, yes, but the motive is  to cause you to re-examine your purchasing practices. Do you really need it? Maybe you were leaning this way, but this might push you to be even more mindful. Perhaps to check out Patagonia’s website to learn more if it’s a strong interest to you.

This is my kind of advertising.  Some people hate marketing, but don’t realize this is the equilibrium we live in. This is how you fight back.

a thousand years

Been reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac recently.

“When I get all these nails out of this I’m going to build me a shelf they’ll last a thousand years!” said Bull, every bone shuddering with boyish excitement. ” Why, Sal, do you realize the shelves they build these days crack under the weight of knick knacks after six months or generally collapse? Same with houses, same with clothes. These bastards have invented plastics by which would make houses last forever. And tires. Americans are killing themselves by the millions every year with defective rubber tires that get hot on the road and blow up. They could make tires that never blow up.

Same with tooth powder. There’s a certain gum they’ve invented and they wont’ show it anybody that if you chew it as a kid you ll never get a cavity for the rest of your born days. Same with clothes. They can make clothes that last forever. They prefer making cheap goods so’s everybody ‘ll have to go on working and punching time clocks and organizing themselves in sullen unions and floundering around while the big grab goes on in Washington and Moscow.” He raised his big piece of rotten wood. “Don’t you think this’ ll make a splendid shelf? “

I sometimes feel the same way about most electronic goods. Put some glitches on the first edition, so get the 2nd or 3rd edition when all the errors are mostly gone? Okay fair enough there is some legitimate kinks that are sometimes only noticeable after many user tests.

But what if something was actually built to last long?  So we don’t have to keep replacing it? I’m not sure if there is a big conspiracy to make crap stuff. The question to ask yourself, in the fast-food culture of North America, when was the last time you considered the time and cost it took to make something? How long something would endure?