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November 2010
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February 2011

A Conversation with Diane Miller on Dialogue and Deliberation...

I feel truly lucky to have met Diane Miller through the Fielding University Certificate Program in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement. Diane is a thoughtful, down to earth, and inspiring leader in the Dialogue and Deliberation field. At the end of 2010, I had a chance to record a conversation with Diane, partly prompted by my great interest in one of her most recent projects - heading up the organizing committee for the 2010 US National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation workshop in Austin Texas. We, happily, covered many other topics as well. I hope you enjoy listening. (I also take responsibility for some of the strange background noises on the recording. I think they have something to do with skype, but am not sure)

Saving Money in the Household Budget...Tips?

Anybody got any good tips? I am trying to pay off some debt on my line of credit and my bank rep gave me two great pieces of advice. I took her suggestion to cut off the withdrawal facility on my line of credit. I am still thinking about her other suggestion of having jars with cash for each type of expenditure each month. Once the jar is empty, spending should stop or you go over budget. I like tracking my expenditures through my credit card.

Loving the ipad...

Kind of a weird name - islate might have been a little more apple like, and a little less prone to ridicule. Didn't really see the use for it until my lovely wife bought me one as a gift. Now I'm reading my magazine subscriptions - Macleans, The Economist, and Campaigns and Elections - on it. I'm watching a lot of tv shows and movies through netflix and now through the Global TV app. I'm reading my social media feeds through flipboard.

Oh yes, and I am very easily taking digital notes using evernote - an app which continues to amaze me in its usefulness.

Getting my Blogging Mojo Back...

I'm in my eighth year as a paying blogger. My first invoice from Typepad was paid on Sept 24th, 2003. I started writing online as a way to journal on an amazing honeymoon - a three month trip with the love of my life to India. And I continued after this trip. In the past few years, however, writing here has been usually more of an afterthought - a thing I felt I should sometimes do rather than something I wanted to do. I have moved a lot of my blogging time, over the past few years, to Your Kamloops - but I have to be pretty specific about what I post over there.

I am gonna try to rev it up again. Yes, in 2011, I have my facebook and my twitter, but these services have definite limitations. They are not really my own in the way this blog is. I find my grammar and spelling has suffered. We'll see how long this renewed interest in blogging here lasts. I'm just happy I got some words up today.

How Aston Kutcher and a Young Fellow at Starbucks Made Me Think...

The above magazine has an interview with Aston Kutcher this month. Why Aston do you keep in such good shape? Aston: got to protect my family when "the end of days" arrives. Aston later: my comments were kind of tongue in cheek.

I was writing Christmas Cards in Starbucks about 10 days ago and overhear a conversation at the table next to me. Lady in her 20s: so what do you want for Christmas. Man in his 20s: well, and this sound really wacked I know, I want to learn how to shoot. Thinking, with climate change impacts etc, I might need to learn how to hunt etc.

These kinds of conversations might slowly be seeping into the mainstream of society. That's a bit scary, especially feel if there is no hope for more positive solutions. I am still learning about and trying to practice collaboration, conversation, and communication.