Thoughts on the world and my world

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Apple product launches January 27 - iNote

Recently lots of bits have been spilled about Apple's new "tablet" device expected to be announced on January 27, 2010. Just what is Steve and team likely up to this time ?

I am going to suggest Mr. Jobs is up to something that circles around the concept of wanting to introduce what might be called the "21st century version of the notepad". Of course, no analogy is perfect but this best approximates what I believe he is going to deliver.

Simply put, Steve envisions a device that is carried by all and used in both ones personal and professional life and that moves computing beyond an archaic desktop/laptop paradigm to a "notepad" paradigm.

Today, in both business and academia most users of laptops and desktops carry physical notebooks to meetings....I am one of these. And in these notebooks we write down meeting notes, ideas, sketches, etc. What if a small and mobile computing device could replace this core functionality and yet hook into the internet, music, movies, video and the "cloud" as well as sync with existing devices such as an iMac or iPod or Windows PC? This device would become the indispensable thing that we carry with us during work or at school in our "workday" personas and would also serve as an information and entertainment device in our "playtime" personas when we need to access games, news, music, etc.

And what would you call this new category of product? Not a tablet, nor a slate - but something that alludes to the idea of a "notepad" - or the 21st century "CPU meets internet, meets notepaper, meets music, meets video, meets images, meets books, meets newspapers" version of a notepad.

My prediction for the new name, derived from the core vision of Steve Jobs is the "iNote". Stay tuned and see how close I am in either the specific name or the core concept behind the product.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Soccer 2008 -Ryan starts playing

Summer 2008 is the year that Ryan started playing soccer, at the age of 7.  This is the same age that Spencer started.  Ryan is having a great time playing so far this year, and loves it.  He plays with such energy and really puts his whole heart into the game.  He runs up and down the field staying with the play, and has a real sense of the game an how it is unfolding.  I think he has definitely benefited from having played with his older brother and his friends over the years.

Ryan scored his first goal in one of the first couple of games he played.  It was the one game I could not be there because I had my boss in from out of town and we had dinner with the CIO of Purolator.   Sandra was there and proud !  It is interesting to note that Sandra missed Spencer's first goal (but I was there) since she had to stay home with Ryan who was ill.  We are proud parents of two great lads.  

A few games back Ryan also saved two goals when he suddenly appeared out of nowhere to kick the ball out of the crease....he did this twice in 1 game and these "saves" were very dramatic - and made us very proud.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spencer at 11, Ryan at almost 7

Spencer turned 11 this past Friday.  I wanted to document a few observations.  Firstly, he has become very interested in the last 2 weeks in learning guitar.  I have now given him my old guitar (purchased in about 1980 - an Ovation Applause).  I have shown him some simple 2-3 note chords...and he seems to really like it.  And then a while back he started piano lessons (Sep 2007  ish).  Just today I showed him how to play a few simple 3 note chords in the Piano so he could play the Coldplay song "The SCientist" from the songbook I purchased for his birthday.  Amazingly he has already figured out how to play the entire song this way.  I am impressed, and happy for him since he enjoys music so much.

Spencer is now in his second year of hockey and really enjoys playing goalie.  He played a key playoff hame yesterday against his friend Mathew's team and Spencer's team won 2-1.

The winter this year has been one where we have seen a great deal of snow.  Since Friday night we received something like 30 or more cm of snow.  It snowed on Friday night, and then most of Saturday.

Ryan has been a busy bee again lately.  His latest interest is playing Runescape on the PC.  He is doing very well at school and enjoys his teacher (Mrs. Cheyne) and his classmates.  We are happy that he is comfortable and learning.  Ryan is so full of interest in making and collecting things and is very engaged with his physical world.  We love him dearly.

I am sitting here Sunday night on March 9 and the Sunday ritual is underway...the boys watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" - something they have enjoyed for the past couple of years. 

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Spencer's first lawn

Saturday, July 14, 2007 begun as a gray, cloudy, but pleasant day. Unlike most Saturday's since early May, I did not have a long list of outdoor projects to finish (like the shed which consumed May, and painting, lawn repair, etc during June). However, I still hav ethe weekly lawn cutting to do! But this Saturday was different. Sandra had to head out to get Ryan a haircut before our Chicago trip. Usually Spencer would tag along on such errands if I was working around the house. However, it said to Samdra, "I want to stay and help Dad work outside". I looked at Spence and said. "Are you sure of that, or are you just wanting to stay home to play on the computer ?". He assured me he was staying to help, and so I agreed.

I had a couple of things to do inside first, so I asked Spencer if he wanted to get started on the lawn (using our new push mower that I had purchased about a month back). He did. And lo and behold, about 15 minutes later I looked outside and about a 1/3 of the lawn was cut). I mentioned to him how you need to overlap each cut, so he went back a re-did the first few rows and over a period of about 30-45 minutes, with no help from me since I was inside, he producly completed cutting his first lawn - and what a great job he did.
That day I also showed him how to use clppers, and he trimmed a good part of the lawn by the driveway next to Doug and Dots place. Truly, Spencer is growing up.

That same morning, before I cut the lawn, I had been out to Longo's to grab some odds and ends. While I was there I saw a mother and her young teenage son who was obviously mentally handicapped. He was helping his mom shop and pack up he groceries. I was moved to tears there in the shopping lineup as I heard him speak to his mom in the tone and language of a child a fraction of his age. I was moved by the sweetness of how he spoke to her as if he were a 4 of 5 year old child - guileless, simple and sweet. I was also saddened and moved with compassion over seeing a tall, slender teenage body, ready to take on life, but with a mind that is not. I felt for his Mother and the sadness she must feel, which she seemed to wear on her face with a sort of mild disdain. I wanted to hug that boy and let him know that God loves him. I was moved and reminded that very little matters in this life, but showing the love of God and the compassion of Christ to the weakest - to those who cannot reciprocate or appreciate what is being done for them. That is what I saw that Mother doing by caring for he son - something I suspect she will be doing until she dies.

As they left the mall parking lot, I pulled out in my car behind them and drove behind them praying for that boy, who I do not know, that he would find the love of God and that our Lord would help his mother find joy in the calling he has for her. Our society knows little of sacrifice and of putting others first. She was living that, whether she wanted to or not. I hoped she would find the joy in it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ryan and my trip to Ottawa


I left Monday April 9 for business in Ottawa planned for the 10th.  It was a short trip, and I drove to Ottawa Monday afternoon, and back to Toronto Tuesday afternoon.

On my way home I called and Ryan said, "Daddy, I have something for you."  When I arrived home he lead me by the hand upstairs into our bedroom.  He had made a gift basket with a number of "love notes" for was his way of expressing how he felt.  What a job, and how great it made me feel.

Here is a picture....

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ryan, the giftgiver

Yesterday (February 22, 2007) Ryan starting wrapping up some of his toys and decorations in any paper he could find and giving them as gifts to Sandra and I. He gave Sandra 6 of these self-wrapped gift items, and then 2 for me. Sometime today he also wrapped two more gifts for me and left them and a love note by my bed under the sidelight. It was touching to Sandra and I, and showed what a generous heart little Ryan has.

We appreciated this act of love so much.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hockey Night in Brampton, in our basement

Tonight was the night. Ryan was fueled with juice(Sunny D) and Spencer was low in energy, after a game at school that sapped 2 goals from his "energy supply". We have been playing this tournament since just before Christmas - and it was a best of 5. Until tonight Ryan/Daddy's team had won 2, and Spencer had won 2. Tonight, the RD team won 20-19 - wow - so close !

Soon we will start another season - and another best of 5 ! What great fun!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cold in Toronto

Well, until about a week or so ago, it seemed like Winter has passed us by. When we came back from Florida in early January, there was no snow, and it was 11 degree Celsius.

Today, with a wind chill around -30, I think winter is here.

On Sunday morning I am off to Orlando for a Motorola Enterprise Mobility sales conference...perhaps I can thaw out while there.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ryan - moving back after 2 years.


As of Saturday night, January 13th, 2006 Ryan officially moved back into his own room.  From what Sandra and I recall, he has been in Spencer's room for about 2 years, and finally decide it was time to get back to his own room.  I seem to recall that he moved his bed out of his room since he was scared of the dark, and having his bed in Spencer's room gave him some comfort that he was not alone. 


Many great memories were made by the two boys sharing this same physical space for so long.  I am sure it helped them bond even closer as brothers.  But as Ryan approaches six, he is truly growing up in so many ways...and  feels a confidence and need to move out.


The end of an era?  But the beginning of a new one.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Florida 2006/2007


This year Sandra and I were glad to be able to finally take Mom, and and Lynn to Florida.. We left Brampton on Wednesday, December 27 and stayed in Beckley, WV the evening of the 27th. We arrived in Hilton Head the afternoon of the 28th, after some considerable delays coming along the 26 onto the I95.

We spent two nights at the Hilton Hilton Head resort..and enjoyed it. The weather was a bit cool the first full day we were there (about 18 C), but still nice. We played ping pong the first morning at the resort, the headed out to explore Hilton Head. We ended up playing mini-golf at a "Pirate Theme" mini-golf park - and Ryan and Spencer played with Lynn. The boys did fabulously.

After Hilton Head, we left to head south to St . Augustine to show Mom and Dad this charming little town, with an abundance of history going back to the 16th century. We arrived there on Saturday, December 30 by the early afternoon. We spent the afternoon exploring the downtown, then headed to the beach at St Augustine to enjoy the fabulous weather. I took lots of pictures.

On Sunday morning, December 31 I was fortunate to go for a nice run along the beach. I ran about 3k each way and it was a beatuiful morning - with sun and perfect weather. After the run I joined Sandra, The Boys, Lynn and my parents who were playing and hanging out on the beach. One of my best memories from this trip was how Ryan and I spend about 1/2 hour building a "lake" and "rivers" on the beach, where the tide would wash up and water would flow into our 2/3 lakes. I had a great time with Ryan, and he seemed to really enjoy it.

We left St. Augustine around 11am on the 31st and drove down to Daytona Beach where we drove out onto the beach for a was pretty busy. We left there and headed to Orlando where we checked into the Floriday Resort to a 3 bedroom luxury unit where we spent New Years Eve. The Boys and Lynn spend ages in the pool that afternoon, then we went back to the room where Mom cooked up some great spaghetti. We put the boys to bed around 9 and stayed up until 10.30 or so watching the "Dick Clarks" New Year's Eve event.

On January 1 we checked out of the Floriday and headed to the Florida Mall. This day was the first cloudy day, and it threatened rain and stayed cloudy all day. By about noon we drove back to Daytona Beach and then watched the greyhound races for an hour or so. We then headed back to St Augustine for 2 more nights - January 1 and January 2. When we arrived in St. Augustine that night it rained. I went out to McDonald's to get supper and we enjoyed it in our rooms. I then headed out again to the pharmacy to grab some cough medicine since I had develped a dry cough about the same day we left for Florida.

We left Florida on Wednesday, January 3 and started the 2,000km trek back to Toronto. We stayed the first night in Charlotte, and the made it to Erie the second night. We arrived home Friday around 12.30pm.

Another year down, and another great set of memories made.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The boys - observed

Ever since he was very young, Ryan has always had an openly generous heart. He will often do things like put one of his little toys in my lunch bag, or give me a heart from his cereal to eat. He has picked flowers for Sandra and given them to her, and then says things like, "I am giving you this beautiful flower, because you are beautiful."

Today I introduced Spencer to the concept of binary numbers, and had been asking me questions about binary and hexadecimal numbers all day long. I love the way he grabs onto a concept or idea and tries to figure it all out - his curiousity has always been so strong on such a wide range of topics.

On a lighter topic, the Leafs play Detroit tonight - in fact it will be the only time they play Detroit during the regular season. They have been on a losing streak for the last 5 games, and in fact I was at the last game they won against the Islanders. Go leafs go.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spencer and the web


Yesterday Spencer was home from school.  He updated his own website with a posting on the meaning of Christmas.  Here is a copy of the text:



      I really like Christmas.  It is one of my favourite celebrations because it celebrates Jesus' birthday.  I like giving and receiving and giving gifts, but in my perspective, Christmas is about Jesus.  Not all people agree with me so this could possiblt start minor conflicts.

      This, of course, explains why store's signs sometimes use X-mas instead of Christmas because this could be insulting to other people if they don't have the same beliefs as christians do.  So now you and I, I hope, now know that Christmas is not all about gifts, but about Jesus' birth.

      It is greatly unfortunate that not all people know the true meaning of Christmas and that it is in fact not all about gifts.  If you do not agree with me on this topic, I do not mind as you are the one to deccide weather Christmas is about Jesus' birth or merely about gifts alone.

      Gifts are fine to be giving and getting as long as you keep in mind that the celebration is not all about gifts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A summer walk in Newport with my son: August 2006

Again, this summer we ventured to wonderful Newport for our vacation.

This picture brings the trip it all back to me. Spencer and I went for a walk in the evening (August 15th) in Newport. Sandra and Ryan stayed back at the room. Spencer and I talked about lots of things, but for some reason his topic of the evening was whether there were sharks and whales in the bay, since we were going boating the next day on the Newport Ferry. The night was comfortably warm. This picture captures the greater inner warmth that I felt as I spent this special hour with My Son. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Rebel Jesus

I heard a fabulous song today for the first time, thanks to my XM satellite Radio and an interview with Jackson Browne playing on The Loft (channel 50) this afternoon. It is a song he wrote since he was asked to contribute to a Christmas album. Rather than deconstruct the song, I only wanted to note that I found it moving and powerful. We too soon forget that Jesus came in many ways as a "rebel". I use the term with a small "r" since Jesus did not come to be the "Rebel", as if that defined His essence. But, the ideals of the kingdom when justaposed against the measuring stick of our world, clearly makes Jesus appear to us as a "rebel".

To Jesus, all of our weak and frail human efforts, though understandable within the content we live, must be submerged below the true meaning of life in order to live well. Jesus came and told us that those that seek power, will not find it. Those that seek peace, will not find it. Those that seek to be respected and treated as important, will not find it. It is in entirely seeking something else, that these things are awarded...but they cannot be sought, succesfully, on their own.

That makes Jesus, among many other more important things, a "rebel". We have to ask in what sense we believe today's visible chruch body carries on that tradition...and to what extent we have traded our world-changing "rebelious" worldview for some sort of compromised faith.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Something Big in the land of Little

We live our little lives each day, going to our little jobs in our little town.  We live in our little house and we think little thoughts.  What car shall we buy, where should we go for vacation, etc.  The littleness can seem so Big.

But there is Something Big in the land of little.  An idea that tells us that although we are Little People who think about Little Things and live our little lives, there is something more.

Something tells us that when our little lives end, and we are buried in our little graves....then Something Big begins.....

The Land of Little is not unimportant.  It is in living in this little land that we learn about and prepare for the Big...and learn that the little is not all there is.

The End (from a limousine at 10.30pm EST after a business trip to Las Vegas)